Paris Saint-Germain are ready to blow Arsenal out of the water in the race to sign Petr Cech by offering the Chelsea goalkeeper a huge £150,000-per-week contract in order to lure him to Ligue 1.
Cech is expected to leave Chelsea this summer after losing his starting spot to Thibaut Courtois this season, and has been heavily linked with a move to the Gunners, as well as Manchester United.
However it seems as though PSG are gearing up to make a major play for the 32-year-old in order to secure his signature. The Mirror report that they will make an incredible £32 million contract offer over five years which would keep Cech in the game until his 38th birthday.
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The French champions believe he is capable of playing at the top level for the foreseeable future and have no issue with offering him a long-term deal. Neither Arsenal or Manchester United are likely to match that offer, both in terms of length and value, and must now hope his desire to remain in England is enough to persuade him to reject it.
Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho would be much more willing to sell Cech to PSG than Arsenal who are a direct rival - although he admitted that the decision is now out of his hands.
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“My answer is not important because the owner is the owner, he is the person with the perspective I admire a lot, respect a lot,” said Mourinho. “He respects a lot of people who do important things for him. Since 2004 to 2014-15, Cech has had 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.
The Special One did hint however that he may be open to a swap deal with Arsenal. He added: "I have the same respect for Petr that everybody at the club has, but my answer [to a proposed move to Arsenal] would be: ‘No way.’ If the answer is different I will accept that. But at every club that is interested in Petr I can find a player that I like in that team, too.”
Chelsea are believed to be holding out for a fee of around £10 million for Cech, which shouldn't prove to be too much of a problem for any of his suitors.
The veteran shotstopper and his family are settled in England, and Chelsea goalkeeping coach Christophe Lollichon, who also coached him during a two-year spell with Rennes, says that fact will play a huge role in his decision.
"He knows Ligue 1 well. But I think he's very happy in England," he said. "The advantage of Arsenal is they are a top club and they have big ambitions. They also have a football philosophy which Petr likes."
This story is perfect for Chelsea - a little too perfect. Jose Mourinho understandably doesn't want to sell to Arsenal or Manchester United, so PSG coming forward with an offer big enough to lure Cech away from England is like a dream come true.
But there's something fishy about this story. It feels as though it has come from someone from within Chelsea, most likely to flush out any concrete interest from elsewhere. PSG have a solid 'keeper in Salvatore Sirigu and throwing money at a veteran goalkeeper while they try and comply with FFP just doesn't seem realistic. Let's see how this one plays out.