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May 29, 2019 at 8pm UK
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Petr Cech ignoring reports of Chelsea return ahead of Europa League final

:Headline: Petr Cech ignoring reports of Chelsea return ahead of Europa League final:
The veteran goalkeeper has been linked with a move back to Stamford Bridge.
PA | 6mo

Petr Cech maintains his "sole focus" is to help Arsenal win the Europa League following a report the goalkeeper was set to return to his former club Chelsea in a sporting director role.

Cech, who turned 37 on Monday, confirmed he will retire following the showpiece game between the Gunners and the Blues in Azerbaijan next week.

A report on Tuesday evening suggested Cech – who joined Chelsea from Rennes in 2004 and went on to win a string of trophies, including four Premier League titles and the 2012 Champions League – was set to take up an off-field role at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea did not comment when contacted by Press Association Sport concerning the story.

Later, Cech took to social media to stress no decision on his future had yet been made.

He said in a post on Twitter: "Despite the news today as I had already said to everybody before , I'll make decision about my future after the last game . Now my sole focus is to win the EL with @Arsenal "

Michael Emenalo left his role as Chelsea's technical director during November 2017 to join Monaco.

After helping Arsenal to reach the Europa League final with victory over Valencia, Cech was asked about his plans once he finally hung up his gloves at the end of the season.

The goalkeeper said in a pitchside interview with BT Sport following the 4-2 second-leg win in Spain: "Well, I have to say I keep the door open for whatever comes.

"You know, staying home, doing nothing, playing ice hockey, playing drums or doing something in football straight away is always a possibility.

"I will just sit at home and I will see what will come – but now really I concentrate on these last weeks, the final, I want to win it, that is all I want."

Cech added: "I always say the final is there to win, nothing else. In 10 years, nobody remembers who you beat, only the one who won, so you have to be on the winning side."

Earlier on Tuesday, Arsenal manager Unai Emery hinted that, despite losing his regular first-team place to Bernd Leno, the veteran goalkeeper is likely to start at Baku's Olympic Stadium on May 29.

"(Cech's) here because he deserves to be here. His commitment to Arsenal is big. He was playing the last (Europa League) matches, perfect matches, with big performances. I want to enjoy with him this final in his career," Emery said.

Petr Cech is set to retire after Arsenal's final game of the season (John Walton/PA)

"I'm a privileged coach to be with him. We're going to use all our effort to win and to be together and enjoy this final together.

"I trust and believe in him. I can use him, I can use Leno, but above all I want to enjoy this with the players, and (what is) a special moment for some players.

"I spoke with Aaron Ramsey, who's injured, but it's the same with Petr Cech. I want to be with him (for) his last match, playing or not."

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Premier League Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool17161042142849
2Leicester CityLeicester17123240112939
3Manchester CityMan City17112447192835
4Chelsea179263125629
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs177553224826
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd176742620625
7Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd176742116525
8Wolverhampton WanderersWolves175932421324
9Arsenal175752427-322
10Crystal Palace166461418-422
11Newcastle UnitedNewcastle176471724-722
12Burnley176382229-721
13Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton165472024-419
14Bournemouth175481924-519
15West Ham UnitedWest Ham175481928-919
16Everton175392029-918
17Aston Villa1743102330-715
18Southampton1743101836-1815
19Norwich CityNorwich1733111835-1712
20Watford171610932-239
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Premier League Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool17161042142849
2Leicester CityLeicester17123240112939
3Manchester CityMan City17112447192835
4Chelsea179263125629
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs177553224826
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd176742620625
7Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd176742116525
8Wolverhampton WanderersWolves175932421324
9Arsenal175752427-322
10Crystal Palace166461418-422
11Newcastle UnitedNewcastle176471724-722
12Burnley176382229-721
13Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton165472024-419
14Bournemouth175481924-519
15West Ham UnitedWest Ham175481928-919
16Everton175392029-918
17Aston Villa1743102330-715
18Southampton1743101836-1815
19Norwich CityNorwich1733111835-1712
20Watford171610932-239
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