Jose Mourinho has hinted that he could demand one of Arsenal or Manchester United's players in exchange for Petr Cech this summer.
The Chelsea manager knows he will lose the world-class goalkeeper and it is looking increasingly likely that it will be to one of his main Premier League rivals.
Cech dropped his biggest hint yet that he would prefer to remain in London this week, giving Arsenal a significant edge in the race for his signature.
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Chelsea's owner, Roman Abramovich, is believed to be ready to let the 33-year-old join any club he wants as a show of thanks for his services to the club.
However, while Chelsea will allow Cech to join whoever he so chooses, Arsene Wenger will first have to negotiate with his loathed adversary over the terms of the transfer.
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"But if every club that is interested in Petr, I can find a player that I like in that team too"
And Mourinho has suggested that he may well demand one of Arsenal's star players in exchange for the Czech Republic international.
Asked whether Abramovich would sell Cech to a rival, Mourinho, speaking to the Daily Mail, replied: "Perhaps. Perhaps. But if every club that is interested in Petr, I can find a player that I like in that team too."
Mourinho has previously suggested that he would rather force Cech to sit our the remaining 12 months of his contract on the Chelsea bench, but accepts that Abramovich's decision will be final.
"The owner is the owner, he is the person with the perspective I admire a lot, respect a lot," Mourinho said.
"He respects a lot of people who do important things for him. Since 2004 to 2014/15, 10 years of success with the club, 10 years of unbelievable behaviour.
"I will have to accept any decision that the owner has. I’m different. I have the same respect for Petr that everybody at the club has, but my answer would be no way. If the answer is different I will accept that."
The swap deal
It had previously been reported that Chelsea would demand Theo Walcott or Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in any deal to take Cech to the Emirates, but he could also look towards Old Trafford if Arsenal won't play ball.
Manchester United have a big budget as well as a big squad and would certainly find it easier to meet Chelsea's demands this summer.
However, Cech's wish to stay in London means the Blues may have no choice but to accept a simple cash offer from the Gunners.
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