Petr Cech looks set to leave Chelsea before the transfer deadline

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Petr Cech looks very likely to leave Chelsea prior to this summer's transfer deadline, with reports suggesting that the Blues will instruct their most senior goalkeeper to find a new club this month.

According to recent reports from Goal, Jose Mourinho - who returned for his second stint in charge at Stamford Bridge last June - has decided to appoint Thibaut Courtois as his first-choice 'stopper for the start of the new Premier League season, with £10 million-rated Cech seemingly now surplus to requirements.

Such speculation also appears to confirm that Chelsea's preference to see the Czech Republic international depart the club prior to August's deadline is borne out of a desire to maximise his price tag and wish to avoid losing him for a smaller fee in 2015.

Chelsea stalwart

If this is indeed true, it would represent a sad and rather undignified ending to Cech's illustrious career in West London.

Having joined Chelsea from Ligue 1 outfit Rennes in July 2004, the 32-year-old has spent a decade as the club's first-choice goalkeeper, winning three Premier League titles, four FA Cups and two League Cups along the way as well as both the Champions League and Europa League.

Despite obviously enjoying the majority of his time at the club, one would presume that Cech, while undoubtedly disappointed at being usurped by Courtois, might just be relieved to receive the opportunity to continue playing regular first-team football elsewhere.

With Australian veteran Mark Schwarzer on hand to provide reliable cover, it just does not make sense for Mourinho to look to selfishly retain both players.

The right choice?

Encouraging such a loyal and experienced player to leave Chelsea will undoubtedly be a difficult task for the self-proclaimed 'Special One', although it is probably the right choice for both the club and Cech in the long-term.

There is sure to be no shortage of interest from around the continent in Cech, either. Ligue 1 pair Paris Saint-Germain and Monaco - neither of whom are short of funds to spend on further new recruits - reportedly made contact over a potential swoop back in early July.

Italian international Salvatore Sirigu is currently French champions PSG's first-choice between the sticks, while Monaco can boast the talents of Croatian Danijel Subašić. 

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Courtois pressure?

The decision to install Courtois and instruct Cech to seek pastures new would certainly appear to pile the pressure on the young Belgian, meanwhile, although it probably is not a challenge that will unduly faze him.

Despite never having made a competitive first-team appearance for Chelsea, the former Genk starlet has developed a deserved a huge reputation as one of European football's finest young talents during an impressive three-year loan spell in Spain with Atletico Madrid.

Having helped guide Diego Simeone's Los Rojiblancos to the final of last season's Champions League and to a surprise domestic title triumph, Courtois - who turned 22 in May and featured in all of Belgium's games at the recent World Cup - should not be at all short on confidence approaching the new campaign.

However, if the unthinkable were to happen and Courtois suffered an injury or a major lack of form, Chelsea might just regret not having Cech around to step into the breach.

Mourinho's side - who recorded a 2-0 victory over Real Sociedad on Tuesday in their final pre-season friendly -  kick-off the 2014/15 season next Monday night, with a potentially tricky trip to Turf Moor and newly-promoted Burnley.

Chelsea fans, do you believe this is the correct decision? Should Courtois be your first-choice this season and is it right that Cech should be allowed to seek a transfer elsewhere? Let us know your thoughts in the comment box provided below.

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Petr Cech
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