Saturday, 13 April 2013

Manchester United interest In Asmir Begovic No Surprise

Stoke boss Tony Pulis admits he isn’t surprised that Manchester United are eyeing a £15m move for his talented goalkeeper Asmir Begovic.
Stoke City

Pulis is resigned to losing Begovic in the summer and has already snapped up Birmingham keeper Jack Butland for a knockdown £3m fee as his replacement.

That deal signalled Stoke's acceptance that their Begovic is on his way.

And it has kick-started one of the hottest transfer chases of the year with Manchester City, 
Arsenal and Chelsea ready to rival the Reds for his signature.

Begovic will have another audition in front of United boss Sir Alex Ferguson tomorrow as Stoke play host to the Champions-elect in a game that the home side desperately need to win to ease their relegation fears.

And Pulis said: “I think he has been exceptional this year. It’s been a great season in many respects for him and he will only get better because he’s still a young lad.

“Even in the Villa defeat last Saturday he made some fantastic saves.

“He has learned a lot from Thomas Sorensen who was first choice when he arrived. The competition has been good because it has pushed and pushed Asmir and he really enjoys that.

“So, it certainly wouldn’t surprise me if there links with top clubs.”

Pulis remains stoical despite a run of just one win in 13 games that has taken Stoke to the brink of the drop zone.

The Potters would settle for a similar outcome to last season when they earned their only point against the Reds in nine Premier League meetings.

He added: “It is an enormous game and we’ve got a battle on our hands. After losing against Manchester City they will come here really fired up.

“We’ve given them good games over the years at our place.

“It’s great to pit your wits against Sir Alex.  He had gone out and spent big money on Robin Van Persie who people turned their nose up because of his age, but it’s been a pivotal signing for him.”

Although reluctant to discuss relegation, Pulis insists that Stoke are better equipped than most to survive such a setback.

He added: “The Premier League is a massive worldwide league and there is more pressure put on you in terms of knowing the difference it will make if you drop out of the league.

“One great thing about this club is financially there are no problems here. It isn’t the case that like Pompey if we got relegated, it would all fall to bits. This club is financially solid.”

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