32-year-old Chelsea No.1 Petr Cech could have more than a little competition on his hands next term for his place between the sticks as manager Jose Mourinho insisted, laying the rumours to rest, that 22-year-old Belgium No.1 Thibaut Courtois would be remaining at Stamford Bridge along with the Czech Republic stopper.
Cech has been with Chelsea for a decade, signed bring Mourinho in his first spell at the Bridge and, at 32, is going to want to play regular first team football for the twilight years of his career.
However, young Courtois is now the Belgium No.1 and widely considered the best young goalkeeper around after his three-year loan spell at Atletico Madrid with whom he won the La Liga title last term and went all the way to the Champions League final under Diego Simeone.
The young stopper had suggested he would likely to remain in the Spanish capital where he is the undisputed No.1 but his manager Jose Mourinho insists he will remain in London.
“My situation for the season is fantastic," said Mourinho. "To have Cech and Courtois, the best young goalkeeper in the world and one of the top three or five experienced keepers, for me and Chelsea it’s perfect.”
Whilst it may be a perfect situation for the boss, it’s likely not ideal for either Cech or Courtois and it could get even more frustrating for one of the pair as Mourinho added:
“There’s no story. One will play and Chelsea will be in safe hands for good because both are very good players.”
If only one play, one is on the bench for the majority of the season but, crucially, which one will it be?
The obvious choice may be to would expect Mourinho to play Cech, his loyal servant for years, until the keeper has a bad day at the office.
Whilst some have suggested that Mourinho will be more keen to keep the youngster happy, he will also know how focused Cech will be knowing Courtois is right there if he makes a mistake.
This could well see the re-emergence of Cech as the best stopper in the Premier League which, for the last two or three seasons, has not been the case.
At least, if one of them gets a little down in the dumps, Mourinho can always remind them to be glad they're not Mark Schwarzer, whose playing chances appear to have dwindled even further.