Petr Cech (and Petr Cech's agent) are supposed to be holding their long-awaited showdown talks with the Chelsea brass sometime this week. While we wait for the inevitable sad news out of said summit, here's Chelsea goalkeeper coach Christophe Lollichon with hints upon hints and then more hints from an interview he gave to French radio, helpfully translated by Goal.com.
"His family like England. And a player is happy when his family is happy. He wants to stay in England, but I don't know if there are the discussions. The Premier League is his primary objective. But it will also depend on the conditions."
"The advantage is that Arsenal is a top club, with a philosophy that pleases him and that is in London. It is a base for consideration. Tottenham? I do not think they have the same ambitions as Arsenal. Petr wants to break the record for the most clean sheets in the Premier League."
And no, it's not going to be Paris Saint-Germain either.
"Much has been said about him at PSG. Even last year, we spoke about that. Obviously it would be an added value. [Salvatore] Sirigu is a good keeper, but Cech is still better. But the problem is that when you have evolved in England, League 1 seems light compared to what Petr has experienced."
Well then. Arsenal it is. Even though Lollichon also thinks Manchester United are going after Hugo Lloris, he still doesn't think that vacancy will be filled by Cech. And so it looks like Cech just might choose the painful option, the one most against fans' and Mourinho's wishes. I suppose having free choice is the least he deserves after eleven years of exemplary service. The Mail claim an £11m potential transfer fee, even.
As far as somehow working out a deal to stay ... well, that doesn't sound like a realistic option at all.
"We [at Chelsea] started to prepare for the next season in December. Because we knew that the situation [Cech as back-up] cannot last. It's great for the club [to have two keepers such quality], but it cannot last. For a boy like Cech, [to stay] on the bench, it's hard."
"Everyone knew his value as a goalkeeper, and now we know the value of the man. He never said anything and was in Courtois service."
"At 33, he still has at least three or four excellent seasons at the high level. He has the ability, competence and professionalism to develop at any high-level club. This is an added value. Whenever he played, he was remarkable. Given his lifestyle, his desire and his love for football, and he is a perfectionist, the club he will end up at will have an enormous chance to win trophies."
Better get this sorted quickly then. The Emirates Cup starts July 25.