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Emery unsure of Cech's Arsenal future

11:20 EAT 05/01/2019
PetrCech-cropped
The Gunners boss was asked about his shot-stopper's long-term future at the club ahead of Saturday's FA Cup clash with Blackpool

Arsenal head coach Unai Emery does not know whether veteran goalkeeper Petr Cech will be at the Premier League club next season.

Cech is out of contract at the end of the campaign and the 36-year-old is facing an uncertain future in London.

He has found opportunities limited behind Bernd Leno, having started the season as Emery's first-choice keeper prior to a hamstring injury in September.

Since recovering, however, he has not featured in the Premier League and has made just four appearances - two apiece in the Carabao Cup and Europa League.

Cech is set to start Saturday's FA Cup clash against Blackpool and when asked about the Czech Republic international's future, Emery – who played down links with Real Madrid keeper Keylor Navas – told reporters: "I don't know now.

"This is a question for the club and the player to deal with our necessary things with the goalkeeper.

"But when he played at the start of the season, he did very well. He was very good behaviour, commitment and performance. Then when he had the injury Leno started playing with a big performance also and then he recovered his position on the bench.

"But I am happy with him. All situations like this, we will speak with the player and with the club but at the moment, I want his focus the same, each training, each match.

"He is going to play Saturday to give us his performance and then we are going to decide also within what is the best for him and for the club."

Cech is one of five Arsenal players whose deal runs out at the end of the campaign, alongside Aaron Ramsey, Nacho Monreal, Danny Welbeck and Stephan Lichtsteiner.  

None of that list are likely to make a January exit. Ramsey is negotiating a Bosman transfer at the end of the season with Juventus heavily linked, Monreal is still heavily involved with the first-team, Welbeck is injured and Lichtsteiner has himself just arrived on a free.

Cech is also likely to stay until the expiry of his contract unless Arsenal can purchase a replacement, which they will need to do ahead of next season - on-loan goalkeeper David Ospina does not appear to have a place in Emery's long-term plans and will almost certainly be sold.