José Mourinho would consider a request from Petr Cech to leave Chelsea if he feels unsettled by his relegation behind Thibaut Courtois, but the manager is hopeful the goalkeeper will remain and fight to regain his first-team place.
Chelsea have no desire to lose Cech, who was displaced by Courtois for Monday’s opening Premier League match at Burnley, with the young Belgium international to remain first-choice for the foreseeable future, starting with Saturday’s visit of Leicester City to Stamford Bridge. Mourinho has not explained the reasoning behind his selection decision to the 32-year-old and the onus is very much on the player to make any frustrations known to the management.
Mourinho praised Cech’s professionalism since losing his place, with the veteran having opted to do extra training on the team’s day off after the victory at Turf Moor, but will not make an exception by justifying his decision to promote Courtois.
“I have not spoken to Petr,” Mourinho said, “because if I speak with him, tomorrow I have to speak to another player, then another one, another one. I’ve never done this in my career. I don’t have to speak to players about decisions. For me [the hierarchy] is the club, the team and then the players. The club is not under my control. The team, yes. So I want the players to see that everything I do is thinking about the team.
“I don’t like to be always justifying my decisions to the players. They all know where my office is. I know it’s a bit far for them, the last office in the corridor from their dressing room, but they know where I am. If they need an explanation, I’ll give one. I never close the door but Petr hasn’t come to me. He worked fantastically well in the group, with his mates, and has been polite and professional. That’s what we need.
“I don’t make exceptions. I didn’t with Frank Lampard. I didn’t with Didier Drogba before the last game. I don’t speak with players about that. I never did. The players’ job is to be professional and work every day, to be available to play. To wish to play. To show every day they want to play. And to respect, more than respect the manager, their team-mates. That’s more important. The relationship between them is more important than the relations between them and myself. But this is a top professional player.”
There is an acceptance that Cech would not stay without having hope of returning to the team, though Mourinho hopes he will be able to rotate his players when the fixture schedule becomes busy after the international break. There is some concern that Cech may ask for a move before the transfer cut-off – Paris Saint-Germain and Monaco have been monitoring his situation, though there is no vacancy to fill at either club.
Chelsea want to retain his services despite the reality they must loan out one foreign player before the deadline to bring their contingent down to the limit of 17. At present, the likeliest departure appears to be Marco van Ginkel.
“I hope Petr doesn’t want to leave, and until this moment we don’t have any sign that will happen,” Mourinho said. “If that situation comes, he deserves us sitting with him and listening to him. Petr would deserve the hierarchy of the club – owner and the board, and I come after them – sitting down and listening to him. He deserves everything from this club but I repeat, that moment hasn’t arrived. And I hope that day doesn’t come. For the good of my team and Chelsea, I hope that doesn’t happen.
“I have no plan [in terms of losing one overseas player by 1 September] other than to make a decision in the last 48 hours. When a player is not able to make the Premier League list, obviously he can’t stay in the club just training. If that moment comes, we have to make a decision. That player will obviously have to go out on loan but I can rotate the goalkeepers. Petr has to play. Obviously I have no problems to play Petr in any match. It doesn’t matter where, or in which competition. For me, if I decide to make that rotation when we have an accumulation of matches, it’s probably the easiest position to do it. We have two of the best three goalkeepers in the world.”