Cech Emerges as Shock Target for Barcelona

Chelsea goalkeeper Peter Cech has emerged as a shock target for Spanish side Barcelona.

According to the Daily Star, the La Liga leaders are Barcelona is reportedly eyeing Cech for a summer move as one of the successors to Victor Valdes, who is set to quit the Nou Camp at the end of the season.

Pepe Reina has long been mooted as a replacement for Valdes with reports during th summer suggesting that a deal as imminent. That move never materialised and instead Reina was sent on loan to Serie A side Napoli.

Talk continue to persist that Reina will return to Spain next summer however new reports linking Cech with a move to the Nou Camp suggest that Reina will not be getting his dream move.

Barcelona are already believed to have opened talks with Chelsea and could even seal a deal in January with Valdes, a one time target of Arsenal, moving to London in a swap deal.

With both keepers involved in Europe however it is unlikely that Gerado Martino or his Chelsea counterpart Jose Mourinho would consider changing custodian mid-campaign.

A summer move appears more likely and with the player reportedly tempted by the challenge after nine successful years at Stamford Bridge a shock deal could be on the cards.

The player was considering his future during the summer but the return of Mourinho`s persuaded Cech to stay put for the time being as he was desperate to work with the man who signed him again.

Should Chelsea agree to leave Cech go then they will have a replacement in their ranks already considered one of the world’s best keepers, Thibaut Courtois.

The Belgian star has long been considered the long-term heir to Cech and his form during his three-season loan-spell with Atletico Madrid has done little to dispel the belief that the keeper-in-waiting is a more than adequate replacement.

Ironically, Barcelona were also linked with a move for Courtois, who joined Chelsea from Genk in 2011, but Chelsea would be unwilling to do business for the 11-times capped international.

Highly rated Borussia Moenchengladbach shot-stopper Marc-Andre ter Stegen, tipped by many as the successor to current international Manuel Neuer, is also on the club’s shortlist and would cost the club £10 million, a similar price to Cech.

Trevor Keane is an Irish based sports writer and the author of Gaffers, 50 years of Irish Managers and Running through Walls, the Dave Langan Story.