Stoke keeper Asmir Begovic has revealed that he believes that he will leave the Potters in the summer, but also stated that he has yet to agree a deal with Manchester United, despite reports to the contrary.
The Bosnian told Oslobodjenje: “I read in the papers that I said no to City and yes to United, But the truth is, I haven’t decided on anything.
“I didn’t say yes or no to anybody. I haven’t signed anything – no contract, no pre-contract. But I believe that Stoke didn’t buy Butland to be a reserve so I think I’m going to be sold in the summer.
“To whom? I can’t move to a smaller club and I also know that some top clubs are interested in me. They are also the only ones who can afford the fee.
Begovic has been linked with moves to Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool this summer. Stoke are believed to be looking for a fee in the region of £15million for the talented keeper and no doubt somebody will snap him up in the summer.
Begovic’s likely summer departure had become something of an open secret and Potters fans seem to have accepted that the Bosnian international will move on.
Begovic’s departure was made more likely by Stoke agreeing to sign Birmingham keeper Jack Butland in the summer. Butland is rated as one of the top and coming goalkeepers in the country and Joe Hart’s understudy at international level.
Butland wants first team football and turned down a move to Chelsea in favour of Stoke, because he would get more playing time at the Britannia Stadium. He wouldn’t have moved to Stoke if he believed that he would be second choice at Stoke.
Asmir Begovic is now without a doubt one of the top goalkeepers in the Premier League. The 25 year-old has been outstanding in Stoke goal and earlier this season helped Stoke become the tightest defence in the league.
The players in front of him have hit a bad run of form, but Begovic just seems to keep producing good solid performances for the Potters, like his performance in Stoke’s 1-0 defeat at Arsenal on Saturday.
At 25 he is still relatively young for keeper, but still has time to mature into an even better player. The Bosnian seems to have a good mental attitude as well, which will help him when he does move on.
Although Manchester United are current favourites to sign Begovic a number of other clubs are likely to be vying for his services come the summer. All three clubs linked with him have keepers that are not exactly reliable.
Manchester United and Arsenal have the same problem with their keepers. Both United’s David de Gea and Arsenal’s Wojciech Szczesny are young, talented and potential world-class keepers, but they lack one thing, experience.
The pair does have potential, but both have the tendency to make silly mistakes, which older keepers may not make. Begovic is not that much older than the pair, but he displays a far more commanding presence in-between the sticks.
David de Gea has made some high-profile errors this season and not everybody connected with United is convinced that he should be the Red Devils number one.
The potential arrival of Begovic could have a good effect on the Spaniard and spur him on to up his performance. I can’t see United letting the youngster permanently, but I could see the youngster going out on-loan to gain more experience.
Manchester City and England number one Joe Hart went out on-loan to Birmingham for a season and it helped his development no end. He is now regarded as one of the best keepers in world football.
Maybe De Gea needs time out of the big spotlight at Old Trafford to mature and gain some game time elsewhere.
Wojciech Szczesny is another young keeper who is still very much learning the game. The Polish international has had a mixed season and some Arsenal fans believe that he is not yet ready to be Arsenal number one.
At the other end of the age scale Liverpool keeper Pepe Reina has had a poor season by his high standards. The 31 year-old has made some terrible errors this season and he doesn’t seem like the reliable keeper he used to be.
High profile errors like the one in Sunday’s 2-2 draw at Manchester City have led Liverpool fans to be believe that it may be time for the Spaniard to move on. Catalan giants Barcelona are also reported to be tracking their former-ace.
Asmir Begovic’s summer destination maybe uncertain, but one thing is for sure a number of goalkeepers at top clubs will be looking over their shoulder because they could just be replaced next summer by the very dependable Bosnian international.
Who will sign Asmir Begovic this summer?