Jose Mourinho has confirmed that he wants Petr Cech to remain at Chelsea next season, despite the goalkeeper only managing to make 16 appearances for the Premier League champions this season.
Cech is a ‘person of interest’ to Chelsea’s Premier League rivals Arsenal, and has also been linked with Manchester United given that the North-West club are likely to lose David De Gea to Real Madrid this summer.
The 32-year-old Czech Republic international has been given permission to talk to other clubs as Thibaut Courtois is now considered to be Chelsea’s number one goalkeeper.
Cech joined Chelsea from the French club side Rennes in 2004 for £7m, remaining the West London club’s number one for 10 seasons. During that time he has won four Premier League titles, four FA Cups, the Champion’s League and the Europa League.
Mourinho, who was named the Barclay’s Premier League manager of the season for the third time this week, said, “I keep saying I would like him to stay”. In the event that he does go, though, the Portuguese manager doesn’t mind where it is that his former number one ends up. He said, “In case he leaves, I have no preferences [where he goes]”.
The self-professed Special One also confirmed that Cech will have a part to play in Chelsea’s final game of the season. He said, “I hope he is fit to play the last game of the season”.
The Chelsea manager is also aware of Frank Lampard’s impending departure from the Premier League. The former Chelsea midfielder is heading off to play for New York City FC in Major League Soccer when his current loan at Manchester City concludes at the end of the season.
Mourinho paid tribute to his ex-midfield general saying, “He is a big loss for English football. He was one of my best players ever. One of my best professionals ever”.
Lampard is Chelsea’s record goal scorer and Mourinho said, “Frank is a Chelsea legend and a legend in the Premier League. I have to honour him and wish him the best in the United States. I hope he comes back to England as soon as possible because people like him make this country much better”.
With Cech soon to join Lampard on Chelsea’s departed list, there is only John Terry left of the Londoner’s old guard of players. Though Ivanovic and Mikel have also been around for some time.
Mourinho is starting to look to the future, with the Belgium duo of Courtois and Eden Hazard – who was named the Barclay’s Premier League player of the season, adding to his Professional Footballer’s Association and Football Writer’s Association awards that he has already received – being the focal point of his future teams.
He will remain indebted to the likes of Cech, though, whose performances throughout Mourinho’s time at Stamford Bridge helped to cement him as one of the best manager’s in the business.