Jose Mourinho has admitted he is disappointed to see Petr Cech join Arsenal, but understands the goalkeeper’s reluctance to be second-choice at Chelsea.
Cech completed his move across London on Monday for a fee believed to be around £10 million, with the 33-year-old signing a long-term contract at the Emirates Stadium.
Mourinho openly stated he did not want the Czech Republic international to leave Stamford Bridge – especially to a major Premier League rival.
However, he has now acknowledged he could not stand in Cech’s way, with the goalkeeper having fallen behind Thibaut Courtois in the pecking order.
“Petr has been a great servant for Chelsea for 11 years and helped this club to win almost everything there is to win,” he told the club’s official website.
“I always said I wanted him to stay but I understand Petr needed to move on to play first-team football every week.
“Sometimes you have to respect the wishes of someone who has earned so much respect with his service and actions for your club. I support [Roman Abramovich’s] decision to honour the player in this way.
“Petr’s success at this club will always to be remembered and we thank him for everything he did.”