Mourinho respects Cech's decision to quit Chelsea

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho could not stand in the way of Petr Cech's move to Arsenal, despite wanting the goalkeeper to stay.

Jose Mourinho has spoken of his disappointment at losing Petr Cech to Arsenal, but admits he understands his reluctance to be second-choice goalkeeper at Chelsea.

Cech completed his move across London on Monday for an undisclosed fee, 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 – but acknowledged that he and Chelsea could not stand in Cech's way.

"Petr has been a great servant for Chelsea for 11 years and helped this club to win almost everything there is to win," the Chelsea boss 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 the owner's [Roman Abramovich] 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."

Meanwhile, Cech was equally a glowing in his comments about Mourinho, a manager he won three of his four Premier League titles under during an 11-year stay at Chelsea.

Cech, who lost his place to Thibaut Courtois in the Chelsea side, added: "He [Mourinho] had to make his decision at the start of last season, I had to make my decision at the start of this season but I will always keep the best regards for him because I believe that we had so much success and so much respect for each other.

"He is one of the best managers in the world. Now, we will be opponents but it will not change our relationship, I believe.

"I learned a lot from him and one of those things was that if you have to make a hard decision, you need to make sure that you do it if you believe it is the right choice."