LONDON • Petr Cech expressed his heartfelt thanks to Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich yesterday after completing his £10 million (S$21 million) move to Arsenal.
The former Blues goalkeeper has signed a four-year contract worth £100,000 a week at the Emirates Stadium, in a transfer that materialised only because of the personal blessing of the club's owner.
Manager Jose Mourinho made clear his opposition to selling Cech to one of Chelsea's main Premier League rivals but was overruled by Abramovich, who insisted that the Czech had earned the right to choose his destination after 10 years' service, including helping Chelsea win 13 trophies.
Cech, 33, rejected the chance to earn a higher salary at Paris Saint-Germain because of his desire to stay in London, where his family are settled.
"I thought this would never happen but it is time for me to say goodbye to Chelsea," he wrote in an open letter on Monday.
"Last summer, things changed and I understood I was no longer the first-choice goalkeeper... That's why I spoke to Mr Abramovich about staying in the Premier League. I'd like to thank him from the bottom of my heart for his support in this matter.
"It means so much to me."
Meanwhile, according to reports in Spain, Sergio Ramos is determined to leave Real Madrid and join Manchester United.
Sources close to the defender reveal that he has been informed by Real that they have received a formal bid from United valued at £28.5 million and that he has told the club he wants to leave this summer.
The 29-year-old also informed the Spanish club that he is keen to join only United, despite interest from Manchester City, according to Sky Sports.
THE TIMES, LONDON, THE GUARDIAN