More big bets suggest Begovic to Chelsea is imminent

Several big bets placed on Ladbrokes’ summer transfer window specials market suggest Asmir Begovic’s move to Chelsea is on the verge of being completed.

The Stoke stopper was 4/6 to replace Petr Cech as the Blues’ number two before a series of chunky wages forced the bookmaker to cut the odds of such a move to 1/6 on Thursday.

After the long drawn-out saga that was Arsenal’s pursuit of Cech, the Stamford Bridge outfit have perhaps been resigned to the fact that they would need to acquire another goalkeeper this summer.

And like Cech, Begovic has been the subject of speculation for some time now.

Reports have suggested that the Premier League champions made an £8m bid for the Potters number one as recently as this week.

It is unclear as to whether Mark Hughes is prepared to accept such a bid, but with the player out of contract in 12 months and his unwillingness to sign a new contract telling, it could be a case of take what you can get for the 28-year-old.

Jack Butland has seen himself sent out on loan to the likes of Derby County and Leeds United in the past two seasons, and the under-21 international will undoubtedly see this as the perfect opportunity to secure first team football at the Britannia Stadium.

The 22-year-old kept two clean sheets in his three Premier League starts last season, so has shown that he has what it takes to cut it at the top level.

But whether Stoke choose to splash any Begovic cash on another ‘keeper remains to be seen, with a reported offer of £12m for Inter striker Xherdan Shaqiri on the table already.

However they chose to act in the transfer markets over the coming weeks, according to the money, it looks as if Stoke are to be a Bosnian stopper light when play resumes at the start of August.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Ben Stones

Ladbrokes News’ equine expert, Ben likes nothing more than studying the form to pick out a winner or two for our readers. A Journalism and Media Studies graduate from the University of Winchester, Ben has previously written for a number of football and racing blogs and websites, as well as contributing to the sports pages of his home-town newspaper.