Chelsea goalkeeper coach Christophe Lollichon has admitted that the Blues had been preparing for Petr Cech's departure from December, and the Czech Republic stopper has since admitted that he will be looking for a new club as he desires regular playing time.
The 33-year-old 'keeper spent the entire season as Thibaut Courtois' deputy, but is unwilling to waste time sitting on the bench for another season. Premier League clubs Arsenal and Manchester United have been linked with a move for Cech, with his coach at Stamford Bridge suggesting that the Gunners have the advantage as they are located in London.
The Czech international has hinted that he would prefer to stay in the English capital and continue playing in the Premier League, as his family is well settled in the city. But he is yet to make a decision on his future as talks with the club are expected to take place this week.
"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," Lollichon said, as quoted by Goal.
"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," the Blues goalkeeping coach explained.
"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."
Reports have suggested that Ligue 1 club Paris Saint-Germain are trying to hijack Arsenal's move for the 'keeper, but Lollichon believes that after over a decade in England's top flight, the French league will be a step down for Cech.
"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," Lollichon concluded.