As manager Jose Mourinho said earlier this week, possessing two of the best goalkeepers in the world in Petr Cech and Thibaut Courtois is a good problem for Chelsea to have heading into the new Premier League term. The Great One meant it more from a competition standpoint, with the Czech and 10-year Stamford Bridge netminder and budding Belgian 22-year-old pushing each other to greater heights. But now Mourinho’s phrasing has taken on new meaning, with the Blues leveraging the position battle into a possible deal for a young, top-flight defender.
Mourinho has been enamored with Real Madrid central defender Raphael Varane well before he brought the French international to the Bernabeu in 2011, and now he could facilitate a move to London with Los Blancos keen on acquiring the 32-year-old Cech for their coming La Liga and Champions League runs, The Express reports. Earlier this week it was reported that Cech did not want to spend his last productive years on the bench watching Courtois in goal. Strangely a transfer to Madrid would still place Cech in the middle of a position battle with newly signed Keylor Navas, Diego Lopez and Iker Casillas, though Casillas’s status with the club is uncertain following his poor performance in net for Spain during the World Cup last month.
Express was quick to point out that Mourinho has silenced any more transfer talk at Stamford Bridge, especially after raiding Spain for Diego Costa and Filipe Luis from Atletico Madrid and Cesc Fabregas from Barcelona. However Varane could be Mourinho’s second option after his interest in Atletico Madrid’s Joao Miranda waned following the player’s decision to stay put. Varane himself is likely excited about the prospect of playing for Mourinho once again, and for the opportunity of more pitch time. Since moving over from Lens in 2011, Varane’s totaled a mere 38 appearances in all competitions for Los Blancos, while having much more success for France’s senior team with 11 matches over the last year.
Cech showed no signs of wear-and-tear during the last Premier League term, totaling 81 saves and conceding only 24 goals while tying Arsenal’s Wojciech Szczesny for the league-lead with 16 clean sheets. He might not have too much competition at the Bernabeu for long anyway, with reports out of Italy suggesting Lopez has completed a four-year deal with AC Milan, according to Fox Sports.
In other news, a deal that was seemingly shelved until the winter has instead been pushed through. The Blues reportedly agreed to loan out winger Christian Atsu for the second straight season, with the 22-year-old Ghana native heading to Everton , Daily Mail reports. The amount of playing time Atsu would receive with the Toffees was under heavy scrutiny by Mourinho and Chelsea, with the club needing assurances that he would receive regular pitch time rather than serving largely as a substitute for Roberto Martinez’s side. Atsu could have made negotiations easier by including Sunderland and Swansea on his short list of desired teams, but he had his sights set on Goodison Park. Playing time wasn’t an issue for Atsu last term, when he made 28 appearances and scored five goals for Dutch side Vitesse.