By Manchester correspondent Alex Stevens
Manchester United have registered their interest in Petr Cech and are prepared to go head to head with Arsenal in a bid to land the goalkeeper this summer, Football Insider sources understand.
United have identified Cech as a possible replacement for David de Gea, who is expected to move to Real Madrid this summer.
As revealed by Football Insider, Arsenal have been given permission by Chelsea to discuss terms with Petr Cech after opening talks with the Premier League champions about signing the goalkeeper in a rare deal between the London rivals.
The Gunners are favourites to sign Cech but United’s interest could turn his head even though it is understood that the 33-year-old is settled in London with his family and keen to remain in the capital.
There is a clear sense that Chelsea will allow their long-serving goalkeeper to decide his future out of respect for his considerable achievements during his 11 years at Stamford Bridge, in which he has won every major honour.
Jose Mourinho admitted that he is powerless to stand in the way of the Czech international moving to north London, with Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich believed to have told the goalkeeper he can choose his destination.
Cech has 12 months remaining on his contract but has spent most of the season on the sidelines after losing his No1 status to Thibaut Courtois.
Chelsea have drawn up a shortlist of goalkeepers to take on the No2 role next season, which it is understood is headed by on-loan Fulham goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg.
Arsenal are a tempting option for Cech, who is settled in London and wants to join a club who can compete for trophies.
Arsene Wenger is keen to pull off one of the headline signings of the summer amid doubts over the future of Wojciech Szczesny and current first choice David Ospina’s long-term ability to be the No1.
As revealed by Football Insider, Szczesny wants to quit Emirates Stadium in search of regular first-team football after losing his Premier League spot to Ospina at the turn of the year.