Chelsea believe they will complete a deal for Stoke City goalkeeper Asmir Begovic this week despite late interest from Manchester United, reports The Evening Standard.
It was only on Sunday that The Daily Mail suggested that Jose Mourinho was fretting about a potential rival bid from the Red Devils.
Now it has been suggested that the Blues remain unfazed and are confident Begovic is on his way to Stamford Bridge.
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Manchester United were thought to have looked into the possibility of rivaling Chelsea in their bid to sign the Bosnian as they prepare to replace David de Gea.
Their current No.1 looks set to join Real Madrid at some point this summer, although the La Liga outfit are yet to make significant progress on agreeing a transfer deal.
Begovic, who has just 12 months left on his Stoke contract, would have been a cheap and reliable alternative to De Gea with reports suggesting their first choice, Tottenham's Hugo Lloris, could cost them £40m.
The Chelsea story
However, Chelsea have been in negotiations with Stoke for some time now having originally approached them just hours after Petr Cech, the man Begovic will be replacing, completed his move to Arsenal.
They now seem willing to meet Stoke's £8m asking price after seeing several smaller bid rejected and are likely to send Victor Moses on loan to the Potters as part of the deal.
One potential hiccup in the deal was whether or not Begovic, 28, would agree to be an understudy to Petr Cech having enjoyed first-team football at Stoke for the last five years.
However, Chelsea have bypassed those concerns by giving him promises over first-team football, potentially guaranteeing him a starting place in both the FA Cup and League Cup games, whilst also offering him a long-term contract worth £75,000-a-week.
Begovic would certainly be an eloquent solution to Manchester United's problems but they are still playing hardball with Real Madrid over De Gea.
It is clear the Spain international does not want to be at Old Trafford and has made it clear that he will not be extending his stay beyond 2016–when his current contract ends.
However, delaying any deal leaves Manchester United vulnerable as they cannot realistically sign a replacement as it will harm their bargaining position with Real Madrid.
While this happens, a potentially world-class goalkeeper in Begovic is slipping through their fingers when he would surely prefer a No.1 jersey at Old Trafford compared to a spot on the bench at Stamford Bridge.
Should Manchester United work hard to sign Asmir Begovic ahead of Chelsea or should they focus their efforts on keeping David de Gea?
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