Jose Mourinho has dropped his biggest hint yet that Petr Cech could leave Chelsea this summer as a result of Thibaut Courtois' return to the club.
Cech has been the undisputed first choice goalkeeper at Stamford Bridge for a decade but is set to face a serious challenge from the Belgian shot stopper. Courtois returns from a three-year loan spell at Atletico Madrid and is expected to be Mourinho's first choice at the start of the season.
Mourinho said that he is enjoying his current predicament saying the increased competition is good for Chelsea. But the Special One also admitted that Mark Schwarzer is ready to compete and that the Australian is capable of filling the No.2 role.
"Petr is ready to fight for his position but Thibaut is the best young goalkeeper in the world, no doubts about that,” the Chelsea manager is quoted as saying by The Evening Standard.
"They will fight and for me it’s a good problem to have to make a decision.
"We are a club that wants to be strong and wants to have a real possibility of competing for trophies and we want competition for places.
"But I know that Mark Schwarzer is a very good keeper, very stable and a good man, completely ready to be our second goalkeeper like he was last season and to give positive performances if we need him to play.”
Such a suggestion hints that Cech could depart before the end of the transfer window with PSG reported to be expressing plenty of interest. Chelsea are willing to listen to offers for Cech, but Mourinho is keen to make sure the Czech Republic international does not join a direct Premier League rival.
PSG would have the funds to match Cech's £100,000-a-week wages and would also be able to meet the demands of Chelsea in terms of a transfer fee. Whether Cech would be willing to leave west London after a long and successful partnership is another altogether.
Courtois may only be 22-years-old but he returns to Stamford Bridge widely renowned as one of the best goalkeepers in the world. The Belgium international has said in the past that he would only return to Chelsea for a first team spot, but so far, he seems to be enjoying life at his parent club.
“I signed three years ago so now I am happy to actually be here, to be a part of this club,” he told Chelsea's website.
“My new team-mates have been really great; they’ve welcomed me and you really feel that you are a part of this team. Obviously it helped me that I knew some of the players before I arrived.
“When I signed here I had played for just one year in the Belgian league. I wasn’t anybody. In the last three years, I have been able to improve myself a lot and make my name in the football world.
“Now it is up to me to keep working hard here at Chelsea, keep improving myself and helping the team to achieve the things we all want.”