Chelsea Transfer News: Ivan Brkic Deal Would Mean the End of Petr Cech's Tenure

Gianni VerschuerenFeatured ColumnistAugust 15, 2014

ARNHEM, NETHERLANDS - JULY 30:  Goalkeeper, Petr Cech of Chelsea looks on during the pre season friendly match between Vitesse Arnhem and Chelsea at the Gelredome Stadium on July 30, 2014 in Arnhem, Netherlands.  (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

Chelsea are reportedly close to a deal for Croatian goalkeeper Ivan Brkic, and such a transfer would send a strong signal that the Petr Cech era is officially over for the Blues.

Goal's Hrvoje Tironi knows Chelsea are on the verge of signing the 19-year-old Croatian stopper, who has impressed scouts during his short tenure with Istra.

His colleague Wayne Veysey claims the Blues will tell Cech he is free to start looking for a new club, as Jose Mourinho plans to make Belgium's Thibaut Courtois his designated starter in goal.

Courtois went out of his way to tell the world he hoped Cech would stay, as reported by Sky Sports, as he told Chelsea's official website he felt like there was still a lot he could learn from the veteran in training:

Petr has had a really nice 10 years here. He’s one of the best goalkeepers in the world. You can learn a lot from every keeper you train with. Every goalkeeper can have a type of thing they are usually good at so when you see them train you can learn from him and other keepers, too. It helps you during your training.

While it would be prudent to keep the experienced Czech international at the club for the time being, his transfer value will only go down as time progresses, which is why Chelsea will ask him to look for a new club now, per Veysey.

It would be a sad ending to what has been a magnificent partnership between Chelsea and Cech, as shared by the Premier League's Twitter account:

Now, the acquisition of Brkic wouldn't mean anything from a football perspective. The Croatian youth international is as inexperienced as Courtois was when he first joined the Blues, and he will likely leave the club on loan immediately.

Rather, a move for another stopper sends a clear signal to Cech and his representatives—the Blues are ready for the future, and Cech should take the hint.

It's not the first hint in that direction Mourinho has dropped during the summer. As reported by ESPN FC, he told Sky Sports he would be comfortable with Mark Schwarzer as the team's second-choice stopper:

"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."

The Daily Mail's Matt Barlow agrees—Courtois is clearly winning the battle to be the club's starter in 2014-15, and he too suggests Cech could be on his way out.

Goal's Wayne Veysey knows French duo Paris Saint-Germain and AS Monaco are both looking at adding the 32-year-old, and although both clubs have a strong presence at the position, Cech would likely present an upgrade for either team.

Italy's Salvatore Sirigu has established himself as one of Ligue 1's best stoppers, but his inability to unseat Gianluigi Buffon as Italy's No. 1 starter speaks to his abilities. Sirigu is a good stopper, but he's not an all-time great like Cech.

Maarten Stekelenburg was once considered as the best up-and-coming goalkeeper in Europe, but his stint with AS Roma failed miserably, and he didn't fare much better with Fulham. Monaco currently loan him from the English side, but there's no question they'd rather have Cech minding the net.

Both clubs would offer the stopper a better chance at starting than Chelsea would, a great shot at silverware and the possibility to play in the Champions League. As far as retirement plans go, that's not a bad route to take.

They also are both backed by extremely wealthy owners, and Monaco's tax laws would ensure Cech could make some serious cash by leaving the Blues.

The writing appears to be on the wall. If these latest reports are true and a deal for Brkic comes to fruition, Chelsea fans better get ready to say goodbye to another club legend, and a golden era for Blues' football.