Chelsea eye English talent to replace outgoing reserve keeper

Petr Cech was never going to sit on Chelsea’s bench as Thibaut Courtois’ backup for long. As the summer transfer window approaches, news that the headgear-sporting stopper is in talks with Besiktas confirms that the Blues will need to start looking for a new reserve for next season.

While Jose Mourinho would understandably want someone of Cech’s quality to call on should anything happen to his first-choice option, players of that ability demand to start games.

So rather than trying to force the previously-integral Cech to remain at Stamford Bridge, it seems the Special One is happy to cash in on the Czech Republic star this summer and sign an English keeper to both warm the bench and appease the league’s homegrown rules.

Reports have emerged that two former England internationals are in line to fill Cech’s gloves in west London, with Norwich’s John Ruddy and QPR’s Rob Green both catching Chelsea’s eye.

The Blues are certainly not incapable of luring a Premier League veteran to play understudy, having had Mark Schwarzer on their books as recently as this season.

Clearly the chance to join a trophy-challenging squad appeals to players of all ages, but for Ruddy and Green the decision comes more down to playing time.

Both men are solid number ones for their clubs. Ruddy may even be a top-flight stopper again next term should Norwich come through the play-offs, while Green is certain to start for QPR next year despite their recent relegation.

However, it’s that drop in division, along with his age, that could make Green the man for Chelsea to go for, especially as the Hoops are expected to face serious sanctions from the Football League for breaking Financial Fair Play rules the last time they were in the second tier.

The 35-year-old would certainly be far cheaper in both transfer fee and wages and may see the chance to fight at the right end of the table as a better end to his career, even if he may only play a handful of games.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.