Petr Cech has confirmed he will remain at Chelsea next season despite the fact that he will have to compete with Thibaut Courtois for a first team place.
Courtois has been a Chelsea player since joining from Genk in 2011, but has spent three seasons on loan at Atletico Madrid. Having grown into one of the finest goalkeepers in the world, Jose Mourinho has opted to retain the Belgian's services for the new season, placing Cech's place in the team in doubt.
Cech has been the first choice goalkeeper at Stamford Bridge for a decade, but speculation started to gather over whether Mourinho would cash in on the 31-year-old. Chelsea were rumoured to be making cutbacks to fall in line with Financial Fair Play and, with Courtois arriving, Cech's £100,000-a-week wages seemed a sensible expense to cut.
But Cech has now confirmed that he is relishing his first genuine competition for the No.1 jersey at Chelsea and is sure he will remain at the club for the 2014/15 season.
"I'm staying at Chelsea, that for sure," Cech told Ekipa24.
"I really don't mind that there are two great keepers at Chelsea. That motivates me ever more.
"You always have to fight if you want to be on great level. And there is not only Courtois and me, even Matej Delac is showing that he is great keeper."
Cech v Courtois
It means Stamford Bridge is set to play host to one of the biggest struggles for a first team place the Premier League has ever seen. Cech is widely regarded as the best 'keeper in England while Courtois is considered the best young goalkeeper in the world.
Mourinho knows keeping both players happy will be a struggle but is obviously hoping the competition will push them to work harder than ever to improve. However, the arrangement will struggle to work long-term - if either Cech of Courtois suffer prolonged spells on the bench, it is likely they will force an exit in the near future.
Courtois has plenty of admirers from La Liga, where he won the Goalkeeper of the Year in 2013. Both Barcelona and Real Madrid were keen, but Mourinho has managed to convince the 22-year-old that his future lies at Stamford Bridge for now.
Arsenal were rumoured to be considering a move for Cech. However, Arsene Wenger still holds a lot of faith in Wojciech Szczesny, who remains the firm first choice at the Emirates. David Ospina has also joined the club and alongside Damien Martinez, completes a first, second and third choice line up for the Gunners.
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