Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois has admitted that he would 'understand' if Petr Cech secured a move away from Chelsea this summer.
Cech is reportedly close to leaving Stamford Bridge having made just six Premier League appearances for the Blues last season thanks to the presence of Courtois. The Belgian international returned from his loan spell from with Atletico Madrid last summer to claim the number one spot for himself - forcing Cech down the pecking order.
Courtois was full of praise for his Chelsea team-mate but said his potential switch away from west London wouldn't be a surprise.
"Petr Cech is one of the best in the world. Our relationship in training was really good, we pushed each other to a higher level," he told Goal.
"I think we saw that in the games for Chelsea. If I was not playing, he was playing and he saved the team as well. So I think it was a very good year for Chelsea. I think during the year already, I have spoken a lot about Petr Cech.
"For me he is a fantastic guy and I worked really well together with him. If he stays, I am happy. If he leaves, I understand as well."
The 33-year-old has been heavily linked with a move to Arsenal - and Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho has conceded that he is powerless to stop that from happening. Cech is said to have an agreement in place which would allow him to join a rival club, something Mourinho has spoken out against in the past.
"I will have to accept any decision that the owner has," he told reporters. "I’m different. 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.”
Cech has also attracted interest from Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain, with the Ligue 1 giants reportedly ready to offer him a five-year deal to uproot him and his settled family from London to France's capital.
Courtois' comments aren't just empty words - when Cech was called upon last season he certainly produced the goods. He was exceptional in the Capital One and pulled off what some described as the save of the season against Everton.
Whoever gets the 33-year-old will be landing a top class 'keeper - but it is almost impossible to see Chelsea sabotaging themselves by letting him join Arsenal, no matter what gentleman's agreement they have in place.