Also pictured: Another man who will never wear an Arsenal shirt in the future. - Ian Walton
...Surprise, the Daily Mail.
That bastion of impeccable journalism, the Daily Mail, is at it again. With the season winding down, the build-up to Transfer Season is intensifying, and, with it, the number of deeply-stupid stories. After yesterday's Courtois story, it was always going to take something special for the Sportsmail staff to wrest the crown from their formidable colleagues at the Daily Star. Somehow, though, they have, claiming Arsenal are ready to make a move for Petr Cech.
If you have even a cursory understanding of the situation in which Chelsea find themselves, you'll immediately understand why this isn't a deal likely to ever happen. That's not to say there's not a sort of logic in it, there is, but when your claim is based on a fatal logical flaw, it's a complete failure.
As I said, it almost makes sense. Wojciech Szczesny is certainly a capable goalkeeper, but he's probably not ever going to reach the level a club of Arsenal's [desired] stature would be looking for. Chelsea, on the other hand, have two world-class keepers on the books, and will likely be moving one of them on in the near future. If you're a regular reader of WAGNH, you'll have heard the reasons why it will likely be Petr Cech.
That leaves just three questions for me:
A: Do I believe Arsenal would jump at the chance to sign a keeper of Cech's standard? Yes, they absolutely would. I can't see a situation where Arsenal wouldn't prefer Cech to Szczesny.
2: Will the North London club make an enquiry or even an offer in the summer? Possibly. It wouldn't be the worst call ever.
D: Will Chelsea sell Petr Cech to Arsenal? No. Not ever. It would be the stupidest decision the board have ever made, and they once committed more the £100m on Fernando Torres.
I'm not even sure where to start on this. First off, Arsenal are unlikely to be the highest bidder should we decide to part ways with Big Pete. They haven't exactly taken to breaking the bank on any player lately, and Cech is the sort of player who would attract a host of suitors. With FFP being the reality, the club should be looking to maximise income from player sales. There's also the fact that selling Cech to Arsenal would, even if Courtois more than replaced him, directly strengthen a rival.
Chelsea should be on the ascent in years to come, but there are no guarantees. Adding an elite keeper to Arsenal would immediately make them a serious contender for a Top Four spot. City and United look pretty unlikely to drop out of the top clubs in Premier League, leaving just two spots for the trailing pack of teams including Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham, and possibly Liverpool. There can simply be no argument for doing anything to directly risk our precious Champions League place.
Finally, while the relationship between the clubs isn't nearly as bad as their relationships with, for example, Tottenham, they're not exactly friends. In fact, Arsenal pretty much hate us for Roman's financial "misdeeds." You don't sell one of your top players to a club who hate you, do you? Well, unless you're Manchester United selling Carlos Tevez to Manchester City.
As I said though, and unlike the Tevez situation, Chelsea will not find themselves short of options should they elect to sell Petr Cech this summer. At this point, it seems fairly unlikely, at least this summer, but it would also not be a huge surprise. Selling to Arsenal, though, would be a massive-to-the-95th-power surprise. In short, it won't happen. Arsenal may want him, and may even ask, but Chelsea will simply never agree to the move. If only the Mail had remembered the two clubs are fairly-big rivals, they'd have avoided getting laughed at. I hope you'll join me in giving them a hearty "Ha! Ha Ha! Ha Ha!" this morning.