June 29, 2015 16:00:21 UK
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger believes he has captured one of the best goalkeepers in world football after the club confirm Petr Cech has agreed to join.
The Czech Republic international has decided to call time on his 11-year stay with Chelsea and move across the capital to the Emirates Stadium having lost his position as the Blues No.1 last season.
Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho’s decision to go with Thibaut Courtois as his first-choice left Cech with no choice but to move on in search of regular first-team football.
The 33-year-old made it clear from the end of last season that he would prefer to stay in London for the sake of his family, making Arsenal the early favourites to sign him.
The Gunners have now confirmed Cech has agreed a long-term contract with the club, joining for an undisclosed fee.
The experience shot stopper has passed his medical and is now just waiting for the transfer window to open before officially becoming an Arsenal player.
In a letter to the Chelsea fans, Cech said he is sorry to be leaving the reigning Premier League champions but has told Arsenal’s website he is excited by the challenge of joining a new team.
“I’m really excited about joining Arsenal Football Club and can’t wait to join up for pre-season,” Cech told the Arsenal website.
“I have the same commitment to football, the same motivation and the same hunger for success as I had at the beginning of my career, and I love the challenges brought by the top quality players you face while playing in the Premier League.
“When Arsène Wenger spoke to me about his ambitions for this club, and how he saw me as part of this team, the decision was clear.”
Wenger hopes Cech’s arrival will give his team a solid defensive foundation from which they can launch an assault on the Premier League title, with Arsenal 5.50 to win the championship next season.
Wenger said: “Petr Cech is a player that I have admired for a long time and I am very pleased that he has decided to join us. He has proven over many seasons that he is one of the outstanding keepers in the world and he will add great strength to our squad.”
Cech’s first competitive game for Arsenal could be against his old club Chelsea in the Community Shield on 2nd August.
Arsenal are 2.87 to win the game, with the Blues 2.37 and the draw 3.40.
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