- Transfer news
Mourinho casts doubt on Cech's Chelsea future
Jose Mourinho has hinted that Petr Cech's Chelsea future could soon become uncertain and told the goalkeeper he will have to fight Thibaut Courtois for a place in the team.
The manager has confirmed Mark Schwarzer as his second choice for next season and Cech, the Czech Republic No.1 who has been at the Stamford Bridge club for a decade, looks likely to be sold.
Chelsea's squad has an excess of foreign players aged over 21 in it on the basis of Premier League and Champions League quotas and the club, in looking to adhere to Financial Fair Play rules, want to balance the books.
Mourinho, asked if 32-year-old Cech's future at the club was uncertain, told Sky Sports: "In this moment, I don't feel that. He is working hard. He did it to recover in almost record time to recover from his surgery. He is playing without limitation. He is ready to fight for his position. Thibaut just arrived, obviously as the best young goalkeeper in the world - no doubt about it.
"They will fight. For me, it is a good problem. I was never afraid to make decisions. I did that in every club [and] prefer this decision than not to have a goalkeeper I could trust completely.
"We have Diego Costa, [Didier] Drogba and [Fernando] Torres; [Cesc] Fabregas and Ramires; this is a club that wants to be strong and have real possibilities to compete for trophies. We need competition in every place.
"I know that Schwarzer is a very good goalkeeper, very stable, a group man [who is] completely ready to be our second goalkeeper like he was last season - to give positive answers if we need him to play. He is our second goalkeeper - we feel very safe with him.
"If this is a situation to have Petr and Courtois together in the same squad, it is a good problem for me."
Belgium international Courtois has returned to Chelsea after three years on loan with Atletico Madrid, with whom he won La Liga and reached the Champions League final last season.
He believes he can learn from Cech and is relishing the battle to claim the No.1 spot, even if the Chelsea stalwart may not be prepared to sit on the bench. "Petr is one of the best goalkeepers in the world," Courtois told Chelsea's official website.
"Every goalkeeper can have a type of thing they are usually good at, and when you see them train you can learn from them. It helps you in your training.
"I signed with Chelsea three years ago, but because of the loan it took until now to have my first training session - so I'm really happy to be here.
"There will be a battle to be in the starting XI, but that's good. It helps the players to improve themselves to play even better. I gained a lot of experience [at Atletico] and played some important games. In every aspect of being a goalkeeper, I improved myself. I learned a lot.
"When I was younger, I always dreamed of playing in the Premier League - so hopefully I can do that soon."