Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho is set to axe Petr Cech this season - which could open the door to a move to Real Madrid.
The 32-year-old stopper has been a main-stay at Stamford Bridge since joining back in 2004, but his time may be up as The Sunday Telegraph reports that ‘the special one’ is set to choose Thibaut Courtois ahead of the Czech veteran next season.
Transfer door open?
That poses significant questions over his future with the Blues, and the same report claims Real Madrid are monitoring the situation ahead of a possible move at the end of the transfer window.
Los Blancos aren’t the only team to have been linked with the player however, and last month speculation claimed Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger was keen on the goalkeeper.
The Gunners have already added a goalkeeper this summer, with David Ospina moving to the Emirates Stadium after an impressive World Cup with Colombia.
Arsenal still interested?
However, the chance to sign Cech might be too good for a Premier League manager to turn down, and Arsenal could use his big-game experience as they look to challenge for more trophies following last year’s success in the FA Cup.
It’s a slightly different situation for Real Madrid, who won the Champions League last season and have two world-class stoppers in Iker Casillas and Diego Lopez.
Carlo Ancelotti has also been linked with a move for Keylor Navas, but the move is yet to go through. His arrival could also lead to the exit of Lopez, despite his role as the number one in La Liga last season at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Another nail appears to have been smashed into Cech’s proverbial coffin today, with Chelsea boss Mourinho opting for Courtois in a strong side for their pre-season friendly against Werder Bremen in Germany.
Bench or bust
And, if he’s unwilling to accept a place on the bench in west London, then leaving might be the only option to continue playing regular football.
Earning £100,000-a-week with the Blues, owner Roman Abramovich might be willing to get such a high-earner off the wage bill if he's not in the manager's first team plans, which could mean funds are available for elsewhere in the side.