Stoke City goalkeeper Asmir Begovic has insisted he is happy at the club amid ongoing speculation linking him with a summer exit from the Britannia Stadium.
The Bosnia and Herzegovina international, 26, has established himself as one of the best goalkeepers in the English Premier League over the past two seasons and is rumoured to be attracting interest from Arsenal and Real Madrid ahead of this summer’s World Cup in Brazil.
Begovic, who joined Stoke from Portsmouth for £3.25 million in the winter of 2010, has two years remaining on his current deal with the Potters and is valued at around £10 million.
“It’s a good place to be, it’s an exciting place to be. We are trying to push forward,” Begovic told Sky Sports.
“I have two years left on my contract and I am committed to the cause and am very settled where I am.
“I have big things coming up in the summer so I haven’t really thought too much about the future.
“It’s very flattering to hear big clubs and great names in the game talk and say nice things about you. I just try to focus and work hard every day, show respect to my club, my employer and do my best for Stoke.
“The World Cup is a big shop window for everyone but the most important thing is to do yourself proud and do your country proud and that’s the main thing I will be focusing on.
“It’s our first major tournament and there is no pressure on us. We will try to just go there and enjoy the whole experience and make sure we use it as a great experience to get better and qualify for major tournaments again.”
The Potters signed highly-rated England international shot-stopper Jack Butland from cash-strapped Birmingham City for £3.3 million in January 2013 but the 21-year-old has been unable to leapfrog Begovic in the first-team.
However, Butland, who has spent time on loan at Barnsley and Leeds United since joining Stoke City, could be the Potters’ first-team goalkeeper next season, albeit if and only if the club receive a substantial offer for Begovic.
That said, a good showing at this summer’s World Cup would go a long way to earning the Bosnia and Herzegovina international a summer move to a ‘bigger’ club.
Begovic — priced at 200/1 to win the 2014 World Cup with Safet Sušić’s side — has kept nine clean sheets in 31 Premier League appearances for Stoke City this season.