Claiming the Premier League title by more than eight points, Chelsea and manager Jose Mourinho face the rather unenviable task of retooling one of the most dominant and successful squads in the world.
But Chelsea are expected to remain active on the transfer market this summer, and it appears the first casualty will be long-time keeper Petr Cech.
The fee for the 33-year-old Czech was reportedly ironed out between the Blues and rival Arsenal for £10.6 million, according to Sky Sports. Though neither team’s formally announced the deal it appears Cech’s championship-laden 11-year run at Stamford Bridge has come to a close.
The transfer seemed like a foregone conclusion before the term ended. Last year, Cech didn’t want to play behind Belgium international Thibaut Courtois, nor did he desire to facilitate a position battle to serve as Courtois’ motivation.
Still, that’s exactly what transpired, and Courtois wound up starting 32 matches, to Cech’s six, while putting Chelsea back atop the table.
Yet Cech is worth as much as 15 points according to defender John Terry, and Daily Mail posits that after the transfer of Juan Mata and David Luiz, its possible Mourinho may have pushed a bit too far.
Mata didn’t necessarily pan out with Manchester United, but Luiz’s success with Paris Saint-Germain reared its ugly head during Champions League even though it bankrolled the additions of Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas.
Nevertheless, Mourinho is making the most of Cech’s fee with attempts to land Stoke’s Asmir Begovic, the Telegraph reports. The Blues are expected to make a formal offer of £8 million for the Bosnian, but face the same battle as they did with Cech over playing time behind Courtois. With 86 saves over 35 matches last term, Begovic, however, could present more of a challenge to Courtois.
Chelsea must also give in or turn back Stoke’s desires for midfielder Victor Moses’ inclusion in the potential deal. The 24-year-old’s spent the last two seasons on loan with Liverpool and Stoke, and while he’s young Chelsea could afford to lose Moses with Oscar and Eden Hazard well in control of midfield.
Though Mourinho is seeking to pad the midfield with Tottenham’s Mousa Dembele, according to The Sun. With John Obi Mikel expected to leave, the Blues are competing with West Ham to land Dembele, who is value is projected at £12 million.
Dembele’s value dropped a bit from the £15 million Spurs paid to Fulham for his rights back in 2012. The 27-year-old’s netted eight goals over the last five years.