Arsenal’s hopes of signing want-away Chelsea star Petr Cech have been given a boost as their reported rivals for his signature, Besiktas, have moved to publicly deny any intention of snapping him up this summer.
Arsene Wenger is reportedly on the lookout for a new goalkeeper this summer and Cech’s name has cropped up continually, especially as he looks set to leave Stamford Bridge in the summer after a season where he saw his spot as number one taken from him, according to the Evening Standard.
Besiktas were reportedly ready to rival the Gunners for the Czech and reports in the Turkish press claimed that talks had already taken place between the club and representatives of the 32-year-old, but Besiktas released a statement deny this.
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"The report in the Takvim newspaper claiming that he held a meeting with Petr Cech's agent is false," it said, as quoted in the Evening Standard report.
Jose Mourinho would be loath to see Cech join a close rivals such as Arsenal, but reports this week suggested that the Blues hierarchy had relented and will allow him to choose where he will go – leaving a switch across London to the emirates Stadium a possibility.
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Allowing him to move to a rival is a concession by Stamford Bridge officials is said to be a gesture of good will after 11 outstanding years at Chelsea, ten of which he spent as the undisputed number one.
However, the arrival of Thibaut Courtois last summer from his two-year loan spell at Atletico Madrid, and his subsequent outstanding performances in the Premier League, have seen the former Sparta Prague academy graduate fall out of favour – a situation he is reportedly unwilling to endure any longer.
An Opportunity That Must Be Exploited
Arsenal must do everything in their power to exploit Chelsea’s stance over Cech, as opportunities for them to sign such a quality player from a rival happen rarely. Mourinho would not even let Demba Ba join them in the summer of 2014, so this is an almost unbelievable chance.
Neither David Ospina or Wojciech Szczesny have looked entirely convincing for the Gunners, and certainly neither are at the same level as Cech. Despite only playing a handful of games this season, he has still shown why he held onto the number one jersey for so long.
It has been a long time since Wenger had a truly top class goalkeeper to call upon and the difference it could make to his side’s trophy chances are huge. A defence that knows a ‘keeper with the quality and consistency of Cech behind them is a more relaxed defence.
He is only 32 and has many years left in front of him at the top, though is at a stage where a potential successor would also need to be groomed. Szczesny held the number one spot for a long time, but his form is prone to being erratic so having time to develop while behind Cech could be the making of him.
Ospina may feel put out at Wenger signing another goalkeeper just a year after snapping him up, but the reality is Arsenal cannot afford to pass up such an opportunity. Cech must be signed, while one of Ospina or Szczesny must be let go.
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