Initially, Petr Cech’s agent’s comments sounded as a ‘hollow threat’ to Chelsea.
The 32-year-old has been the undisputed first-choice goalkeeper for the Blues for a decade, but next campaign he could have to play second fiddle to Thibaut Courtois.
That’s because there is a distinct possibility that the Belgium international will not be loaned out again.
The 22-year-old has been on loan at Atletico Madrid for the past three years, during which time he has established himself as one of the best goalkeepers in the world, if not the best.
Earlier on Thursday, Sky Sports quoted Cech’s agent Viktor Kolar as saying: ‘Nothing changes. He has two years left on his Chelsea contract and has an interest to continue there... Paris Saint-Germain have shown interest and we have also communicated with Monaco’.
Kolar added: ‘I would get in touch with (Andoni) Zubizarreta (of Barcelona) and people at Real Madrid. These are clubs we would consider if Chelsea wanted to get rid of Petr'.
On the face of it, Kolar's claim that all those clubs would be interested in Cech appears a bit far-fetched.
Barcelona are unlikely to have any interest in Cech anymore – they have already signed Claudio Bravo and Marc-Andre ter Stegen this summer.
Real Madrid have two goalkeepers fighting for a regular place in the starting line-up: Iker Casillas and Diego Lopez.
While the latter remains coach Carlo Ancelotti’s first choice, the former is a club emblem. And even if Los Blancos did want to sell one of them, how likely is it that they will sign a replacement who is also in his 30s?
Paris Saint-Germain? The Ligue 1 champions have a certain Salvatore Sirigu as their number one, and Cech will face competition if he moves to the French giants.
The only club among the ones that Kolar mentioned where Cech will genuinely have a chance of regular first-team football is Monaco.
Monaco were on the verge of signing Victor Valdes, the Spain international having departed Barcelona at the end of last season.
However, the 32-year-old failed a medical test, and later on Thursday, Monaco vice-president Vadim Vasilyev said: ‘Victor Valdes is injured and he won't come’.
V. Vasilyev : « @1victorvaldes est blessé et ne viendra pas. »— AS MONACO (@AS_Monaco) July 3, 2014
While making the announcement about Valdes, Vasilyev stated that he has confidence in current first-choice goalkeeper Danijel Subasic, hailing the 29-year-old's 'qualities' and claiming that new Monaco coach Leonardo Jardim 'believes in him'.
V. Vasilyev : « @SubasicDanijel a toutes les qualités pour être titulaire la saison prochaine. »— AS MONACO (@AS_Monaco) July 3, 2014
V. Vasilyev : « Il a fait une très bonne saison et le coach croit en lui. »— AS MONACO (@AS_Monaco) July 3, 2014
But if so, then why were they trying to sign Valdes in the first place? Surely, the veteran custodian was not going to join Monaco to sit on the bench?
Monaco are now likely to be back in the market for a top-class goalkeeper, and given that they have already ‘communicated’ with Cech’s camp, is there a likelihood that they could go back for the Czech Republic international?
If they do, then Monaco will have to convince Cech that he will be their first choice – or at least will be given the chance to. They will be able to match the 32-year-old former Rennes’ star’s high wage demands, though.
Kolar has made it pretty clear that Cech is settled in London with his family, and that he wants to continue at Chelsea. However, the former Sparta Prague player needs absolute guarantee that he will be the Blues’ first choice.
Could Monaco take advantage of this uncertainty? Only time will tell.