Serie A giants Inter Milan must ensure they win the race for want-away Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech.
The Czech Republican has grown tired of playing second fiddle to Thibaut Courtois this season, and is reportedly contemplating bringing his 11-year stay at Stamford Bridge to an end when the transfer window reopens in the summer.
And with Inter set to be inundated with offers for goalkeeper Samir Handanovic, Roberto Mancini should make Cech his replacement given his obvious qualities and years of experience of playing at the highest level.
With three Premier League titles, four FA Cup winners medals and one solitary Champions League triumph under his belt, Cech is one of the most decorated players in the squad having been a consistent fixture in the side since his arrival from Rennes in 2004.
Similar to the way Courtois had dislodged him this season, Cech ousted the consistent Carlo Cudicini from the side and immediately helped Jose Mourinho lift the Premier League title in his first season in English football.
He then assisted the Portuguese in doing the same the following season, before winning the trophy for a third time under Carlo Ancelotti in 2010, two years on from the heartbreak of the Champions League final defeat to Sir Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United in Moscow.
The 32-year-old finally got his hands on the game’s biggest prize in 2012, after beating Bayern Munich on penalties at the Allianz Arena, while he also won the Europa League the following season. However with Courtois now Chelsea’s number one, Mourinho faces a difficult task to keep him.
Arsenal are the frontrunners for his signature given the questionable attributes of both Wojciech Szcesney and David Ospina, but Chelsea would be more inclined to sell Cech abroad especially if the Gunners begin to mount a late title challenge this campaign.
Handanovic has been linked with Liverpool with Brendan Rodgers keen to replace Simon Mignolet, but despite signing Victor Valdes in January United may hijack the move if David De Gea opts to leave for a new challenge at Real Madrid.
Cech would be an ideal replacement and could play a significant role as Mancini sets about guiding them back into Europe and back towards the summit of Italian football.
He would be hungry to achieve yet more success in club football and would want to follow in the footsteps of David Luiz and Kevin De Bruyne who, since leaving the Blues, are forging credible reputations of their own at Paris Saint-Germain at Wolfsburg.
A relatively low transfer fee ensures he would be a bargain, and as a goalkeeper Cech still has years ahead of him before retirement.
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