Real Madrid appear to have singled out Chelsea keeper Petr Cech as their number one January transfer target, with the Spanish giants reportedly preparing to bid for the Czech Republic stopper.
Cech has found himself out of the Chelsea starting line-up for the first time since his arrival in 2004 after Jose Mourinho opted to hand Belgian youngster Thibaut Courtois the number-one jersey at the start of the season.
While Cech made a brief return to the side following Courtois’s head injury, it looks as though the 32-year old will try to leave Chelsea in the summer.
Real’s hunt for a new keeper comes after a number of high profile mistakes from Casillas. The veteran returned to the Real first team this season after spending last year as second choice Diego Lopez.
But Casillas’ performances from Real and Spain this season has seen him the subject of some damning criticism from sections of the media and supporters, culminating in him being dropped from the Spain side in favour of David de Gea.
While Costa Rica keeper Keylor Navas was one of the World Cup’s most impressive keepers, the backup stopper doesn’t seem to have done enough to convince Carlo Ancelotti that he is the man to replace Casillas, with the Real boss seemingly set on signing a goalkeeper he worked with during his two seasons in charge of Chelsea.
Real had been keen on trying to tempt Manchester United’s de Gea back to Spain, but the Premier League side have made it quite clear they aren’t willing to consider selling a keeper who has been one of Louis van Gaal’s stand-out players this year.
Paris St-Germain have held a long-standing interest in Cech, but La Liga would present more of a long-term challenge to the Czech Republic international than Ligue 1 and the veteran has reportedly admitted he would rather head to Spain.
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has made no secret over the fact he wants to keep Cech at Stamford Bridge in order to challenge Courtois, the long-time number-one would probably be allowed to leave if he made it clear that was what he wanted.
The presence of Mark Schwarzer in the squad could make Mourinho feel a little better about the prospect of allowing Cech leave the club. Fulham have been looking to re-sign Schwarzer on loan in recent weeks, but the Championship club’s hopes would be dashed if Chelsea did sell Cech in January.
A short-term deal for the 42-year old would be a possibility for Schwarzer, but the Australian would have to return to Stamford Bridge in January if Mourinho sold Cech.
Having two of the best goalkeepers at the club has certainly played a part in Chelsea being the overwhelming favourites to win the title this season, but the strength in depth of the goalkeepers has been replicated throughout this Blues squad and it’s no surprise Mourinho’s men are being tipped by so many to cruise to this season’s title.