EXCLUSIVE | By Arsenal correspondent Tony Hughes
Petr Cech’s proposed transfer to Arsenal is now ’99 per cent done’, sources close to the situation have told Football Insider.
The only remaining hurdle to the deal being completed is said to be Jose Mourinho, who is not trusted by senior officials at Emirates Stadium.
However, as revealed by Football Insider on Tuesday, Cech has been given Chelsea’s blessing to join Arsenal after he informed them at a meeting on Monday of his intention to make the short move across London this summer.
Arsenal are set to table a formal £11million bid for Cech, which is the fee agreed by the two clubs. It is understood that a deal could be completed by the end of next week.
As revealed by Football Insider, the FA Cup holders have already agreed personal terms with the 33-year-old after being given permission by Chelsea to hold talks with the player.
The Czech international has also taken the step of reserving London school places for his children in a clear sign that he expects to push through a move to Arsenal.
The north Londoners opened discussions with Chelsea last month about what would be a rare deal between the rivals.
Cech’s camp are confident that the final hurdle to a deal has been cleared and Chelsea will not now stand in the goalkeeper’s way out of respect for his considerable achievements during his 11 years at Stamford Bridge, in which he has won every major honour.
Mourinho has claimed that he is powerless to prevent the Czech international moving to north London, with Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich believed to have told the goalkeeper he can choose his destination. However, Arsenal are wary of the influence Mourinho exerts and his reluctance to strengthen a rival team.
There have been reports that Chelsea have demanded an Arsenal player in exchange for Cech but Arsene Wenger will not allow any of his first-teamers to be part of the deal.
Football Insider understands that Arsenal and Cech’s representatives have agreed the terms of a three-year contract worth more than £100,000-a-week.
Cech has 12 months remaining on his contract but spent most of last season on the sidelines after losing his No1 status to Thibaut Courtois.
Arsene Wenger is keen to pull off one of the headline signings of the summer amid both doubts over the future of Wojciech Szczesny and current first choice David Ospina’s long-term ability to be the No1.