Chelsea are poised to announce the signing of Asmir Begovic on Friday after agreeing an £8 million fee with Stoke City for the Bosnian goalkeeper.
This is according to various sources, including the Guardian, who understand that Chelsea have agreed to send highly-rated Dutch midfielder Marco van Ginkel in the opposite direction on a season-long loan as part of the deal.
Van Ginkel will help to fill the void left by tenacious midfielder Steven Nzonzi, who finalised a move to Spanish side Sevilla on Thursday.
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In the end, Stoke had little choice but to accept Chelsea’s improved offer after Begovic made it clear he would not sign a contract extension at the Britannia Stadium.
The 28-year-old had entered the final 12 months of his contract but has decided to accept the Premier League champions’ offer, even though he will not be the first-choice goalkeeper at Stamford Bridge.
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Begovic will replace Petr Cech
Begovic will take the place of Petr Cech, who left Chelsea for Arsenal last month, and will only play in the matches when Thibaut Courtois is either injured, suspended or in need of a rest.
Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho, however, will be delighted to have secured the services of such a talented goalkeeper as a back-up option.
The Portuguese coach made no secret of the fact he wanted Cech to continue in his role as back-up to Belgium international Courtois but, in the form of Begovic, is signing a proven Premier League keeper as a replacement.
Mourinho had also been linked with Queens Park Rangers goalkeeper Rob Green, 35, but Begovic - who had also been linked with Manchester United - is the far superior player and Chelsea have done well to convince him to take the place of Cech.
Van Ginkel loan also benefits Chelsea
That Stoke City are taking Van Ginkel on loan for the 2015-16 campaign also stands to benefit Chelsea.
There was no room for the 22-year-old in Mourinho’s first-team squad for the upcoming season, but the Dutch midfielder will have a chance to showcase his credentials in the Premier League with Mark Hughes’ side.
Van Ginkel spent last season on loan with Italian giants AC Milan but failed to make the impact he would have hoped for. He will now be hoping to catch Mourinho’s eye by impressing at the Britannia Stadium.
Chelsea fans: are you pleased with the signing of Asmir Begovic? Should Jose Mourinho have kept Marco van Ginkel for the 2015-16 Premier League campaign? Have your say by leaving a comment in the box below!