Petr Cech looks highly likely to join Arsenal in the coming days and when he does he’ll have Roman Abramovich to thank, not Jose Mourinho.
A fresh look at what could turn out to be the transfer of the year, provided by The Daily Telegraph, has revealed that it was Chelsea’s ridiculously rich Russian oligarch who made Cech’s imminent transfer to the Emirates Stadium possible, despite the fact it’s sure to bolster Arsene Wenger’s Premier League title bid.
According to the Telegraph Mourinho was staunchly against the idea that Cech be allowed to opt to move to another Premier League club, and he supposedly made his feelings very clear to the Blues’ owner when the two conferred on the matter.
The Portuguese coach is naturally wary about strengthening Arsenal’s squad at a time when they look on the up and up, and in allowing them the services of a world-class goalkeeper entering his peak years strenghtening them is what Chelsea may have done.
It’s believed that Mourinho’s preference was to either keep Cech at Stamford Bridge as Thibaut Courtois’ number two against his will, until his contract ran out next summer, or sell him to an overseas club who wouldn’t directly impact upon Chelsea’s attempt to retain the English title.
Deal to go ahead
Though the first may have soured relations between the club and one of their most impeccable servants the second was a viable option, particularly if the rumours suggesting Paris Saint-Germain were firmly in the race stemmed from truth.
However Abramovich has remained resolute on his stance that Cech’s 11 years as one of Chelsea’s most important players give him the right to pick his next move. With the veteran stopper unwilling to uproot his family the Gunners were obvious favourites, and it will come as a huge surprise if a deal isn’t wrapped up in the next few days.
The wrong move
Indeed righteous as it is on Abramovich’s part one has to question the logic behind selling a player as influential as Cech to arguably the next strongest side in the Premier League.
Whilst he isn’t going to oust Courtois anytime soon, and it’s probably better for Chelsea’s future that he doesn’t, he remains one of the best ‘keepers on the planet, and potentially the missing piece of Arsene Wenger’s puzzle.
Whilst Wojciech Szczesny and David Ospina remain the only ‘keeping options for Arsenal it’s fair to assume they’ll struggle for the consistency needed to win the Premier League.
With a behemoth like Cech in between the sticks that consistency could easily be found; when it is Mourinho may have claims to a I-told-you-so back and forth with Abramovich.
Chelsea fans, who do you think is in the right? Abramovich for letting Cech join Arsenal? Or Mourinho for trying to prevent the deal going through? Let us know your thoughts in the comments box below.