Stoke seek to hang on to Begovic
Stoke City are keen to secure the services of Bosnian World Cup goalkeeper Asmir Begović with a newly extended contract, reports The Daily Star.
The giant stopper is under contract at the Britannia Stadium for another two years, but Potters chairman Peter Coates has expressed his desire to tie Begović to a longer deal, with transfer rumours circulating.
“We have to protect ourselves,” said Coates. “Asmir's very much our player and nothing has happened recently to change that because we haven't had any enquiries for him. My own preference is that he stays. He can stay forever as far as I'm concerned. He's clearly a top-class goalkeeper.”
Begović is rated at around £15 million, and put himself in the shop window with some impressive displays for Bosnia and Herzegovina at their first ever World Cup in Brazil, despite their exit at the group stage.
The 27-year-old was initially brought to the UK by Portsmouth, and spent a number of periods away from Fratton Park on loan with clubs in the English lower leagues before finally securing a £3.25 million transfer to Stoke in 2010.
He has since established himself as the first choice keeper at the Britannia Stadium, and to date has made 136 appearances in all competitions. In 2013/14 he memorably got on the scoresheet in a Premier League game against Southampton after his long clearance caught the wind and sailed over his opposite number Artur Boruc and into the Saints’ net.
Stoke currently have two other senior goalkeepers on their books in Thomas Sorensen and Jack Butland, but are thought to be likely to seek a replacement for Begović should they find a buyer at the right price this summer.
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