Jose Mourinho has never made his dislike for all things Arsenal a secret, but there are two players on Arsene Wenger's side he apparently prefers enough to throw a wrench in a Petr Cech transfer across London Town.
The Telegraph is reporting that Mourinho is backing up his previous statements about "find(ing) a player I like in that club, too" and is rumored to be looking at two Arsenal attacking players as makeweight, presumably in addition to a transfer fee:
Jose Mourinho wants Theo Walcott or Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain offered in any swap deal for Petr Cech this summer.
Mourinho is a big admirer of both Walcott and Oxlade-Chamberlain and might be more willing to allow Cech to move to Arsenal if either of those players are offered.
While Theo Walcott has yet to talk to Arsenal about extending his current contract, there's little to suggest that Wenger would authorize such an exchange to happen. When the two managers and clubs agreed to a William Gallas-for-Ashley Cole move plus £5 million to Arsenal in 2007, it was to appease two players who had, on their own, made their current situations untenable.
Cole, as you remember, was photographed in a London hotel with then-Chelsea CEO Peter Kenyon, probably discussing effective techniques in drowning puppies and kittens, or running old people off sidewalks. And Gallas was holding up talks on a new contract at Chelsea due to being played out of position. Swapping the players across the town made sense; keeping each of them around would do the clubs far more harm than good.
However, Walcott's not even close to the malcontent that Cole was leading up to his eventual departure. He's been, by all accounts, a model teammate and locker room presence, and his teammates recognize the value he brings to the club on the pitch. Regardless of his current contract situation, the odds that Wenger relents to add in Theo to a Petr Cech move are extremely slim.
As for the Ox, while he's fallen a bit behind Wenger's preferred starting XI, he's still young enough (and good enough, mind) to keep around to continue getting experience. Long story short, he's not moving to Chelsea in any Cech deal.
If there are shreds of truth in this report, it says a lot about how far Jose Mourinho will go to complicate a move to Arsenal for Petr Cech. After all the years of service he's provided to him, the club, and their fans, it's pretty fitting that Mourinho will cock up any deal out of sheer petulance and ego.