Petr Cech has returned “home” to Chelsea as technical and performance advisor, a role bridging the board and coaching staff.
Former Blues goalkeeper Cech will adopt a similar position to that previously held by Michael Emenalo, the technical director who resigned in November 2017.
The 37-year-old’s appointment is expected to help inch Chelsea closer to appointing club-record goalscorer Frank Lampard as their new manager.
Blues director Marina Granovskaia said: “We are delighted to welcome Petr back home to Chelsea.
“During his playing career here he was one of the most dedicated, successful and thoughtful professionals we have ever had.
“We always hoped that when Petr was ready to retire we would see him back at Chelsea and we are thrilled to add his expertise and knowledge of the game to the technical staff.”
Chelsea’s statement in confirming Cech’s return explained the former Czech Republic goalkeeper will “provide advice on all football and performance matters throughout the club”.
The well-liked star made 494 appearances in 11 years at Chelsea between 2004 and 2015 and already boasts a keen understanding of the Stamford Bridge set-up.
“I feel very privileged to have this opportunity to join Chelsea again and help create the best possible high-level performance environment to continue the success the club has had over the past 15 years,” said Cech.
“I’m looking forward to the new challenge and hope I can use all of my football knowledge and experience to help the team achieve even more success in the future.”
Chelsea hope the return of a nucleus of former players can offset a potentially tricky time on the recruitment front, should FIFA’s two-window transfer ban be upheld.
The Blues have taken their appeal of that sanction to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), but did not request that embargo be frozen pending a hearing.
Chelsea could now seek to push a host of home-grown talents into the first-team set-up.