Chelsea are in a transfer battle with Stoke over their Bosnian goalkeeper, Asmir Begovic, having just had a £4m bid turned down by the Potteries club but are ready for Chelsea to come back with a better offer.
Tony Pulis admitted that Chelsea had enquired after Begovic but they had responded by putting the ‘not for sale’ sign up. However, it is more than probable that Chelsea will be lining up another bid for the 23-year old who is still not the consensus number one at the Britannia, although he has forced his way past Sorensen in the first team this season.
Pulis telling the local press how much he wants to keep Begovic shows just how far he has come from the player who Pulis accused of ‘refusing’ to play in a League Cup tie back in August. He has gone from there to ousting Sorensen, in Pulis’ mind at least, as number one.
The reason for Ancelotti really wanting Begovic is that, despite being Bosnian, his youth career at Portsmouth means that under the new regulations, he would count as a home-grown player, unlike Hilario. Signing Begovic and pushing Hilario out of the squad would open up another space in the squad for a non-home grown player to come in.
Considering that they paid £3.75m to Portsmouth for Begovic in the first place, a £4m bid to one of the few clubs in the Premier League not in debt is hardly going to force Stoke’s hand. However, if Chelsea are willing to increase that to somewhere in the £6-7m bracket, they could well get their man.