Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech has dismissed speculation linking him with a summer move to Arsenal, saying “I can’t even imagine it.”
On Tuesday, the Daily Mail reported that Arsenal had put the 30-year-old on their shortlist to replace Wojciech Szczesny, with the suggestion that Cech could be replaced by Thibaut Courtois at Chelsea next season. The Belgian 20-year-old is currently on loan at Atletico Madrid.
While Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger may well be on the lookout for a new keeper having dropped Szczesny in the last two matches, a successful approach for Cech always appeared highly unlikely.
“It is an interesting piece of news but it is such speculation that I think it's not even necessary to comment on it," Cech told the Web site isport.blesk.cz.
"I know of nothing, nobody has contacted me and, to be honest, I can't even imagine it.
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"I don't even normally notice such rumors. But when it does get to me, I naturally look at it to know what to say about it later.
"There are players who do read newspapers. Some players read match reports to know what was written about them and where.
"I don't do this, I don't read newspapers because of such things. I don't take rumors like this seriously."
In other news, the Daily Mail has reported that Arsenal are showing an interest in Barcelona forward Alexis Sanchez. The Chile international, who can play out wide or through the middle, has struggled to impose himself at Camp Nou following his big-money move from Udinese in the summer of 2011.
Wenger is thought to be keen on boosting his forward line this summer and there has been much speculation about the future of Sanchez. Juventus and Internazionale are both thought to be keen on the 24-year-old, but his former sporting director at Udinese believes that Arsenal would be a good fit.
“Sanchez needs to play the ball on the ground, just like Arsenal,” said Fabrizio Larini. “That would be his ideal game.
“I do not know his current situation at the Spanish club. But his fitness problems have definitely limited his performances.
“The only thing that these teams will have to consider is that he is a player who needs freedom to play his way. In teams that have particularly rigid patterns of play he might have a few problems.”
Sanchez is far from the only forward thought to be on Arsenal’s shortlist. Indeed, the Daily Mail has claimed that Fiorentina’s Stevan Jovetic is now the primary target with Wenger prepared to break the club’s transfer record to secure the 23-year-old.
Jovetic has long been linked with the Gunners, but it is now said that Wenger has instructed his scouts to provide weekly reports on the Montenegro international.
Fiorentina have repeatedly insisted that they have no intention of selling their prized asset and it would take an offer in excess of £20 million plus the lure of Champions League qualification to being Jovetic to the Emirates.
Arsenal have also been linked to in-form Saint Etienne striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. The 23-year-old has struck 16 goals in Ligue 1 this season and is also thought to be interesting Chelsea and Newcastle, but Aubameyang has hinted he may be keen to remain in France with a move to big-spending Paris Saint-Germain.
“I am ready to join a top club,” Aubameyang said, according to the Daily Mirror.
“PSG? Of course an eventual offer would be really interesting, but I don’t know if they are really tracking me. We will see. In any case it would be nice to play alongside [Zlatan] Ibrahimovich.”