Petr Cech has finally completed his long-awaited move from Chelsea to Arsenal for a fee of £11million, according to the Daily Mail.
The Czech international, who was also wanted by Manchester United, has been strongly linked with a transfer to the Emirates Stadium since the end of last season, and with Arsene Wenger in need of a goalkeeper who can inspire complete confidence at the back it looked inevitable that a deal would be completed.
However given the complex nature of Arsenal’s relationship with their London rivals, and the fact that Jose Mourinho is an infamously shrewd negotiator, there were obvious obstacles in the way.
The Mail’s breaking report infers though that an agreement has been reached and Cech will now keep goal for the Gunners in the forthcoming campaign.
In fact coincidentally Cech’s first competitive game for his new club could be against his former employers, as the two teams are set to meet in the Charity Shield at the beginning of August.
The Blues won the Premier League at a relative canter after seeing off competition from the likes of Arsenal and Manchester City last term, whilst the Gunners smashed Aston Villa in the FA Cup final to win the trophy for the second successive time.
Whilst it's not particularly surprising to see Cech switch allegiances, the fact that he's opted for Arsenal over certain other clubs could well ruffle a few feathers.
As has already been mentioned United were believed to be retaining an interest as the future of David de Gea develops, whilst French giants Paris Saint-Germain were ready and waiting with an offer of their own.
Throughout the saga though the theory has remained strong that Cech wasn't keen on uprooting his family, leaving Arsenal are natural favourites based purely on geographical location. PSG probably would have been willing to pay more in terms of a weekly wage, but relocating to France seems to have been a factor Cech wasn't happy to accept.
The knock-on effect
Moving forward the transfer should now have a knock-on effect. Wojciech Szczesny and David Ospina were Wenger's two goalkeepers last term, but it's feasible that one will now move - the latter is said to have been in negotiations with Fenerbahce already.
Meanwhile Chelsea may boast the man who ultimately ousted Cech, Thibaut Courtois, but they'll need an understudy for him.
Robert Green of Queens Park Rangers and Stoke City's Asmir Begovic have both been mentioned as possible alternatives to Cech, but if it's a two-horse race it can be assumed fans would be hoping for the latter to be given priority.
Arsenal fans, are you happy Cech has signed? Chelsea fans, is this a good move by Mourinho? Let us know in the comments box below.
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