LONDON - John Terry believes that Petr Cech could be worth as many as 15 extra points to Arsenal in their mission to wrest English football's Premier League title from Chelsea next season.
The 33-year-old goalkeeper's move from Stamford Bridge to the Emirates Stadium could be completed this week.
Agreement on the final transfer fee appears to be the sticking point between the clubs, with Arsenal hoping to seal a £10 million (S$21 million) deal.
Cech could make his Arsenal debut against his former club in the Community Shield on Aug 2.
Arsenal finished 12 points behind the champions last season but Terry, the Chelsea captain, believes that Cech could be the man who turns Arsene Wenger's side into genuine title contenders.
The pair have been Chelsea team-mates for 11 years and Terry said: "He will save them 12 to 15 points a season.
" I am sure if he does leave - which nobody wants to see but we understand he wants to play football - he is going to be sorely missed. He will improve whatever side he goes to."
Chelsea valued Cech at £10 million after he was given permission to leave and he has been offered a deal worth £100,000 a week by Arsenal, putting him on a par with the club's highest earners.
Jose Mourinho, the Chelsea manager, has expressed his reluctance to allow the veteran to move to direct rivals.
Cech lost his starting place to Thibaut Courtois at the beginning of last season but did make 16 appearances, including in the League Cup final win over Tottenham Hotspur.
The Czech Republic goalkeeper has said there is little more he can do to persuade Mourinho that he should be first choice, and is not prepared to sit on the bench for another season.
"The two of them are up there with the best goalkeepers in the world," Terry said.
"Big Petr's career has been at the very top. To take him out of the team, you have to be a great talent.
"Thibaut has done that.
"Petr has been very good as well, because when you are a professional, it is difficult to accept."
THE TIMES, LONDON