Chelsea have signed goalkeeper Asmir Begovic from Stoke City on a four-year deal.
Chelsea were keen to sign another goalkeeper following the departure of Petr Cech earlier this summer and quickly identified Begovic as their top prospect.
Stoke manager Mark Hughes had hoped to keep the Bosnian, who had only one year left on his contract, but Begovic made it clear that he wanted to try his hand at Stamford Bridge. The deal does not come as that much of a loss to Stoke, however, as they have recently signed 39-year-old goalkeeper Shay Given from Aston Villa.
The 28-year-old will wear the number one jersey vacated by Cech, and current starting goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois will continue to wear number 13. However, it is clear that Begovic was signed to be a backup to the Belgian.
Begovic is Chelsea’s second signing of the summer following striker Radamel Falcao on season-long loan from AS Monaco. The Colombian will be linking up with former Atletico Madrid striker Diego Costa on the attack.
In addition to a reported fee of £8 million, Stoke are to receive midfielder Marco van Ginkel. The Dutch international, who was also linked to Newcastle United, Sunderland, and Southampton, will offset the departure of Steven Nzonzi to Sevilla.
Stoke City rejected Chelsea’s initial bid of £6 million for the goalkeeper. Hughes also demanded that Blues manager Jose Mourinho send a player to Stoke on loan, but the two could not decide on which player that was to be.
Hughes initially asked for Ruben Loftus-Cheek and was refused, and then he would have none of Nathan Ake, Patrick Bamford, or Nathaniel Chalobah. Van Ginkel, who spent last season on loan at AC Milan, was eventually agreed upon.
The deal saw Stoke gain a midfielder to replace the loss of Nzonzi and Chelsea gain a goalkeeper to replace the loss of Cech.