Jan 312013

Chelsea are trying to reach an agreement with Stoke City for goalkeeper Asmir Begovic, with the deal appearing to be reliant on Stoke’s capture of Jack Butland.

Chelsea had a bid accepted for the young England keeper yesterday, only for Butland to refuse talks with the club. The 19 year-old now appears key to the Blues latest goalkeeping target.

Stoke City have apparently had a £4Million bid accepted by Birmingham City, and are set to hold talks with the highly-rated keeper on a permanent move.

Butland refused to talk to Chelsea as he did not see the possibility of playing first-team football at the club, and rightly so.

Petr Cech has been outstanding for Chelsea since he arrived for £7Million from Rennes back in 2004, and signed a new 4 year deal at the end of last season.

The Blues however are not impressed with second-choice Ross Turnball, who has held only two clean-sheets in his 19 appearances for the club.

The West-Londoners do however have Thibaut Courtois on his second season-long loan at Athletico Madrid, who has been receiving plaudits in the press. He has also been subject to interest from Barcelona who are keen on signing the Belgian in the summer to replace Victor Valdes.

In the mean time, Chelsea are looking to sign a more able back-up to Cech, who is currently sidelined through injury.

The Stamford Bridge outfit have been keeping a close eye on Asmir Begovic, who is currently Stoke’s no.1. Manchester United have also been linked with the Bosnian goalkeeper, but never made their interest concrete.

Begovic would be a much more suitable back-up for Cech, who has missed quite a few games this season through injury. His signing could allow Courtois to spend another season out on loan, with the goalkeeper more than happy to gain first-team experience.

Jan 302013

Birmingham City’s Jack Butland today rejected the chance to talk to Chelsea FC about a projected move, despite the Championship club accepting a bid.

The Midland club last week admitted they would be willing to sell any of their first-team players, because of their dire financial situation.

The European Champions enquired about the Blues stopper, and were told they would be willing to sell the keeper for £3.5m.

Chelsea agreed a deal with the club, only to be told that Butland would not be willing to talk to the West-London club.

“Jack’s enjoying playing for Birmingham and he is gaining valuable experience,” his agent Gary Mellor told BBC Sport.

“He will listen to what any club that meets Birmingham’s asking price has to say, but playing is of paramount importance for Jack.”

Chelsea currently have the outstanding Petr Cech as their No.1 and Butland knows it would take a miracle to replace him in the near future.

The Blues also have Thibaut Courtois out on loan at Athletico Madrid, who is currently wanted by Barcelona to replace Victor Valdes.

I believe Butland to be a very good English goalkeeper but cant see him playing ahead of either Courtois or Cech, and believe he has done the right thing for his future.