Chelsea are set to sign Asmir Begovic from Stoke City for £8 million to offset the departure of veteran goalkeeper Petr Cech, who joined Arsenal earlier this summer.
Blues boss José Mourinho is keen to find someone to replace Cech as backup goalkeeper after the Czech Republic international chose to move to the north London side in search of playing time. The Portuguese identified Begovic early on as his top target, who seems enthusiastic about the chance to challenge current no. 1 Thibaut Courtois.
Begovic has made clear his desire to leave Stoke, and Manchester United are also reportedly interested in him as a replacement to David de Gea, should the Spaniard leave over the summer to join Real Madrid. However, the Bosnian shot-stopper seems content to settle for less playing time with the Premier League champions than he might get at United.
Chelsea had their initial bid rejected
The Blues made an initial bid of £6 million, but Stoke rejected the offer, hoping to get more money for Begovic despite there being only 12 months left on his deal.
However, Stoke should be pleased with the improved deal. In exchange for 28-year-old, Stoke, which finished ninth in the league in the 2014-15 season, will receive £8 million and a Chelsea player on season-long loan.
In addition, Potters manager Mark Hughes is believed to be on the verge of signing 39-year-old goalkeeper Shay Given, who underwent a medical at Stoke on Thursday, on a two-year deal from Aston Villa. Mourinho has seen this as a go-ahead to close in on his prime target.
The deal will see Marco van Ginkel go the other way
As part of the deal, Chelsea will send midfielder Marco van Ginkel on season-long loan to Stoke. The 22-year-old Holand international, who has been linked with Southampton, Sunderland, and Newcastle United, will offset the departure of Steven N'zonzi to Sevilla.
Hughes initially asked for Ruben Loftus-Cheek, which Mourinho refused. Hughes would also have none of Nathan Aké, Patrick Bamford, and Nathaniel Chalobah.
Finally, it was decided that Stoke would receive Van Ginkel, who was plagued by injuries during his time at Stamford Bridge and spent last season on loan with Serie A side AC Milan.
The deal which will see both sides strengthen target positions is set to be made official on Friday.