Chelsea have reacted instantly to the departure of goalkeeper Petr Cech to Arsenal. According to Gianluca Di Marzio, a deal worth £8 million has been agreed for the signing of Asmir Begovic from Stoke City. The Bosnia-Herzegovina international had been touted as the favourite to replace Cech at Stamford Bridge, and now it looks like the rumours have rung true.
It seems like both parties have got what they want in this deal. Stoke rejected a £6 million offer from the Blues for Begovic only yesterday, expressing staunch refusal to sell at anything under £8 million. Chelsea have met that valuation, and the deal is set to go through. It was also stated as a possibility that Victor Moses’ loan at Stoke would be extended by another season as a part of the deal, but the Nigerian intends to return to his parent club.
Begovic was in the final year of his contract at the Britannia Stadium, after joining from Portsmouth in 2010. He made 172 appearances for the Potters in all competitions and was one of the most consistent goalkeepers in the league in the past couple of seasons. In the process, he attracted interest from quite a few top clubs in the country including Liverpool and Manchester United.
According to the report though, Wolfsburg goalie Diego Benaglio was Chelsea’s first-choice to bring in next season. But, in the end, after that transfer proved unattainable, they turned to Begovic. The 28 year-old will pocket a cool £4 million per year playing for the Premier League champions.
It will be interesting to see how much gametime he gets though, with Thibaut Courtois being the undisputed number 1. The Belgian’s rise to the first-team last season was the major reason for Cech’s departure, and Begovic may find his playing time limited to the cup competitions only.