Chelsea are preparing to make an £8 million bid for Asmir Begovic after identifying the Stoke City goalkeeper as the man they want to replace the soon-to-be-departing Petr Cech at Stamford Bridge.
Blues boss Jose Mourinho is keen to recruit another top quality custodian to compete with Thibaut Courtois for the number one spot in west London, and he believes the Bosnia and Herzegovina international has the capability to do so.
However, according to the Daily Telegraph, Begovic is seeking assurances from the Portuguese tactician that he won't spend the peak years of his career warming the Chelsea bench, just like 33-year-old Cech has been forced to do over the past 12 months.
The 27-year-old has made no secret of his desire to join a Champions League club, and with just over one year remaining on his current contract at the Britannia Stadium the Potters might be forced to cash-in this summer, or else risk losing the stopper for nothing next year.
Mourinho will offer Begovic a bumper pay-rise to make the move south, and hope that will be enough to convince him to take up a new challenge with the Premier League champions.
But, with Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur and AS Roma also credited with an interest in acquiring the player's signature, Chelsea might be forced to wait patiently as Begovic mulls over his transfer options.
His desire to continue playing regular football could make a move to the Blues less desirable, particularly given the fact that Cech made just 16 senior appearances in 2014/15 as understudy to Courtois.
And, with the respective futures of so many goalkeepers up in the air at the moment, the former Portsmouth man could be forgiven for not wanting to commit himself too early in the transfer window in case a better opportunity presents itself.
David de Gea's anticipated switch to Real Madrid would create an opening at Old Trafford as Louis van Gaal looks to bring in a replacement, with Hugo Lloris named as a possible target.
Spurs could then bring in Begovic to replace the France captain at White Hart Lane, which would give him a better chance of gaining regular minutes in north London than what is likely to be on offer at Chelsea.
Mourinho has also been monitoring Queens Park Rangers goalkeeper Robert Green and Fulham youngster Marcus Bettinelli, but the Stoke star remains the first-choice option.
Chelsea fans: Do you think Asmir Begovic would be a decent replacement for Petr Cech this summer? Is £8m a decent price to pay? Share your thoughts below...
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