Such a move would appear to be beneficial to all parties concerned. Valdes is looking for a new challenge after spending his entire career with the Catalan club, while Cech could potentially be persuaded to move for the same reason. The horrific head injury he sustained in 2006 will likely lead him into early retirement, and his ability to speak at least eight languages reveals a love of new cultures.
However, there is no discernable gain for Chelsea in this deal. Valdes is leaving Barcelona no matter what, and it is they who are in the situation of needing a new ‘keeper. Chelsea would lose a player who was instrumental to their most glorious night in Munich and replace him with one who, despite performing at a consistently high level for his club, is third choice for his country.
If Cech did decide that he wanted to leave for Barcelona then the Chelsea supporters would respect that, but from the way he has spoken of his excitement over working with Jose Mourinho again, that sounds a far-fetched prospect.
Cech is a confirmed legend at Chelsea. His 144 clean sheets in 296 Premier League games show a consistency and class that have been key to the Blues’ recent success.
Now that Roman Abramovich is beginning his second decade in charge of the club, the focus has shifted from star signings to youth development, and bringing in an established ‘keeper like Valdes would undermine this philosophy.
Thibaut Courtois is, despite overtures from a number of clubs, a Chelsea player. He is currently in his third season out on loan at Atletico Madrid, where he set a new club record for the longest spell without conceding a goal last season. He is 21 years old.
The Belgian told Goal.com in February that he expects to replace Petr Cech within two years. This is by no means an unreasonable ambition, and although Cech could find himself playing in only the domestic cup competitions, this writer cannot think of a better mentor for Courtois as he transitions to become Chelsea’s first-choice ‘keeper.
Cech has always given the impression of a teacher, a focused, intelligent footballer who has a passion for welcoming new players. Although The Express have reported that Barcelona want Chelsea to choose between Cech and Courtois, that decision is not theirs to make. There is no reason for Chelsea to let either of their ‘keepers go to strengthen their fiercest European rivals, and Mourinho would be the last person to sanction such a deal.
Barcelona and the Spanish press can bluster all they like, but The Happy One is content with his current squad. Quite simply, the Blaugrana’s need for a world-class ‘keeper is their own problem, and one that Chelsea are under no obligation to help them solve.