By Greg Stobart
Chelsea have told Arsenal that they will not sell goalkeeper Petr Cech to their London rivals this summer, Goal understands.
The Gunners are actively looking for a new goalkeeper and have made an enquiry for Cech, who is expected to leave the Blues after losing his place as the club’s first choice to Thibaut Courtois this season.
Chelsea, however, are determined not to sell to Arsenal as they fear strengthening a rival for the Premier League title next season.
Arsenal could test Chelsea’s resolve with a £10 million-plus bid once the window opens, but the Gunners believe the club have virtually no chance of bringing Cech to the Emirates Stadium.
"Cech is still one of the best goalkeepers around and he would be the perfect signing, but the message from Chelsea is not to bother wasting our time," an Arsenal source told Goal.
Chelsea accept that Cech will look to leave in search of regular football but would prefer to sell him abroad, with Paris Saint-Germain among the clubs linked with a move for the 32-year-old.
Arsene Wenger wants a top class No.1 in the summer having dropped Wojciech Szczesny earlier this season, with David Ospina currently starting as first choice goalkeeper in Premier League fixtures.
Cech has made only 14 appearances this season – just five in the Premier League – after Jose Mourinho selected Courtois as his No.1 at the start of the campaign.
The Czech Republic international, who moved to Stamford Bridge from Rennes in 2004, admitted in an interview last month that he is open to the possibility of leaving the club at the end of the season.
"I don't know what the club's idea will be," he told Czech newspaper Idnes. "It looks like it works well with me and Thibaut as a duo.
"But that can work for one season only. I don't want another one like this."