Serie A giants AC Milan must win the race for want-away Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech.
The 32-year-old has found his route to the first team blocked by Belgian shot stopper Thibaut Courtois, and could leave Stamford Bridge in able to secure a starting berth elsewhere.
Premier League duo Arsenal and Liverpool are also interested in securing his signature, but manager Jose Mourinho would be more inclined to sell him overseas rather than to a direct English rival.
Despite his current struggles Cech is widely considered as one of the best goalkeepers in English football having been a regular fixture in the side ever since being brought to the club by Mourinho during his first stint at the club way back in 2004.
He helped the Portuguese to two Premier League titles in 2005 and 2006, and also played a key part in delivering the title during Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti’s first season at the club in 2010.
The Czech Republic international was also part of the side that reached the Champions League final in 2008, but despite saving Cristiano Ronaldo’s spot-kick ultimately missed out on the prize to Sir Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United.
It was then only fitting that he played a starring role in lifting Europe’s biggest prize with the Blues in 2012, saving from Arjen Robben in normal time before saving spot-kicks from Ivica Olic and Bastian Schweinsteiger in the penalty shoot-out against Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena.
Yet despite that he now looks destined to leave the club, and may opt to be a hero at Milan as they look to continue their resurgence under Filippo Inzaghi.
Inzaghi only snared Diego Lopez from Madrid in the summer, but the 33-year-old has struggled to adjust to life at the San Siro and may be dropped from the side as a result.
The club already share a healthy relationship with Chelsea having previously negotiated for the loan deals of Fernando Torres and Marco Van Ginkel, and Cech would be the third player to move from the club to the San Siro in less than 12 months.
Every European powerhouse needs a solid goalkeeper as a platform for which to team to build, and the arrival of one of the world’s best goalkeepers would offer them added security and solidarity at the back.
Despite not featuring in the Champions League this term, Milan is the most attractive offer on the table unless Madrid come in with an offer of their own.
Arsenal already possess Wojciech Szczesny and David Ospina, so a move to the Emirates Stadium would make no sense for either party.
Milan must make sure they win the race. Failure to do so may see them miss out on a place in Europe’s top-tier competition for a second time in successive seasons as a result.