Mar 26, 2015

    Let us play or we're leaving, say Cech and Falcao


    TWO of the biggest names in the English Premier League - one a long-time player, the other a recent introduction - are seeking new pastures.

    Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech said on Tuesday he might leave the Blues in the summer, ending a highly successful 11-year spell. He said he is finding it tough being second choice to Thibaut Courtois after years of being the uncontested No. 1.

    The same day, Manchester United's on-loan striker Radamel Falcao hinted he could leave the club at the end of the season in search of more regular football.

    "I don't want to go on like this for another season, so it's clear," Cech told reporters in Prague, ahead of Saturday's Euro 2016 qualifier against Latvia.

    The 32-year-old Czech Republic keeper has played only four full Premiership games this season - all this year and all with a clean sheet - against 25 appearances for Belgian international Courtois, who is 10 years younger.

    "I have to do something about my situation because I want to play, not sit on the bench," said Cech, who is under contract till the summer of next year. "I was used to playing 50 or 60 games per season, not 15 or 20."

    The only consolation for the goalkeeper, capped over 100 times since making his international debut in 2002, was winning this season's League Cup - beating Spurs 2-0 on March 1 - after getting the nod from Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho ahead of Courtois.

    "It's no secret that I would like to play more. The situation has not changed. We will deal with it at the end of the season," said Cech.

    The goalkeeper - who has won many trophies with Chelsea including the 2012 Champions League and 2013 Europa League, as well as three Premier League crowns - has many admirers, including Premier League duo Arsenal and Liverpool as well as Serie A high-fliers AS Roma and defending French champions Paris Saint-Germain.

    Colombia forward Falcao missed last year's World Cup through injury, then moved on loan from Monaco to United, where he has seen limited first-team action and scored few goals under manager Louis van Gaal.

    "I think any footballer needs to play and is happy playing. I'm totally committed to the club, there are eight matches to go (in the Premier League) and anything can happen," Falcao told Colombia's Radio Caracol.

    "So when the championship ends, surely, I'll sit down, do an analysis and decide what's best for me," added the 29-year-old, who was a prolific scorer for Porto, Atletico Madrid and Monaco before his knee ligament injury 14 months ago.

    "Obviously, I need to find a place where I have continuity and can play," Falcao said in Bahrain, where Colombia play a Copa America warm-up friendly today.

    The forward said he fully respected van Gaal's decisions and had "faith and hope" that things would change for him at United before the season ends.