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Last Updated: Wednesday, 7 January, 2004, 12:00 GMT
Chelsea Cech bid rejected
Czech goalkeeper Petr Cech
Chelsea have had a bid for goalkeeper Petr Cech turned down by French club Rennes.

Czech Republic international Cech is under contract until 2006, but Rennes may let the 21-year-old go in the summer.

Rennes would not reveal the size of Chelsea's bid, made on Monday evening.

A club statement said: "We have refused the offer and informed Chelsea that Cech will remain here until the end of the season."

Interest from Stamford Bridge in the 21-year-old Cech has come on the back of some stirring performances for his club and country over the past 18 months.

The young shot-stopper is also reportedly being pursued by Real Madrid and Inter Milan.

If all this stops now I would be disappointed
Czech keeper Petr Cech

Even though Chelsea's Italian goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini is rated among the finest in the Premiership, it has become unofficial club policy since the Roman Abramovich takeover in the summer to have at least two high-quality players per position.

Cech would be competing for a first-team place at Stamford Bridge with Cudicini, Carlo Ambrosio, Jurgen Macho and Neill Sullivan.

Cech is keen on a move to the Premiership, according to the Czech press.

He said: "I have known about these contacts for the past three or four weeks.

"Things accelerated last Friday when my agent Pavel Zika, who was negotiating in London, called me to ask my opinion on a possible transfer.

"I said I was interested - while insisting it would depend on Rennes' attitude.

"But if all this stops now I would be disappointed."

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