Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho has admitted that it would take a “huge money” offer for goalkeeper Petr Cech to leave the club this summer.
The 32-year-old was in goal for Sunday’s Capital One Cup final win over Tottenham but he has sat on the bench for the majority of the season.
Belgian Thibaut Courtois has kept the No.1 jersey after impressing Mourinho last season during Atletico Madrid’s title-winning campaign in Spain after spending three years in total there on loan.
Cech is closing in on 500 appearances for the Blues since he joined during Mourinho’s first spell at Stamford Bridge but reports on Tuesday linked Chelsea with a move for Brad Friedel, who is currently the third-choice goalkeeper at Spurs, to heighten speculation Cech could be soon on his way out.
Craig Gordon, Rob Green, John Ruddy and Shay Given have all also been linked with the back-up jersey but Mourinho is still hoping to keep hold of Cech.
He will not force him to stay with the Blues but Mourinho admits a rival club will need to pay big money if they want to sign him this summer.
“He will make his decision,” Mourinho said. “He’s very mature to make what he feels is the best decision for him and the best decision for his future.
“I will just wait. I would like him very much to stay. I don’t waste my time trying to persuade him, because I know nobody can persuade him.
“If he tells me he wants to leave, I will tell him my opinion and my opinion is one of the three best goalkeepers in the world. Huge money.”