Jose Mourinho appeared to suggest on Sunday that he believes Chelsea have done enough over the course of the season to convince Petr Cech that he should stay at the club beyond the summer transfer window.
Cech has long been expected to leave Chelsea in the imminent transfer period given that he is now understudy to Thibaut Courtois, who ended his maiden campaign as a Premier League winner.
The iconic Chelsea goalkeeper made only six league starts - all enforced due to injury to Courtois - and his situation has led to links to a number of other top clubs, Arsenal and Manchester United among them.
However, Mourinho claims he was still been able to make Cech feel ‘important’ and has lavished praised on the 33-year-old for his contribution during Chelsea’s unopposed romp to title glory.
“He’s a legend of this club but he’s a legend at 32 years old [sic] which is a very young legend for a goalkeeper,” Mourinho told reporters following the final game of the season against Sunderland.
“One of our strengths this season was to have the two best goalkeepers in the Premier League.
“I don’t know if we could be champions if he hadn’t played these seven matches. His contribution was decisive.”
He added: “The reality is that Petr played lots of matches in every competition so we made him feel important.
“I can cope with it, for me it’s no problem to have both but obviously I don’t know what Petr is thinking."
Despite Mourinho’s comments it would still seem rather unlikely Cech would be a Chelsea player next season and there will be plenty of sides in the market to acquire a goalkeeper of such experience and proven quality.
Arsenal has been the most frequent link as Arsene Wenger considers a No.1 more reliable than Wojciech Szczesny or David Ospina, but they will not have a free run at the Czech Republic international.
The uncertainty surrounding the future of David de Gea at Manchester United - with Real Madrid interested - has led to reports that Louis van Gaal could target Cech, and it could be one of the most intriguing transfer stories of the summer.
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