Asmir Begovic has made the unusual admission that he does not know if Manchester City are negotiating with Stoke over his potential transfer to the Etihad Stadium.
Begovic has revealed, according to leading Bosnia and Herzegovina daily Dnevni Avaz, that City tried to sign him toward the end of Roberto Mancini’s reign.
However, now that Manuel Pellegrini is in charge, Begovic does not know if City’s interest remains. Sky Sports provides the translation:
As for Manchester City, when Mancini was on the bench, we were very close to an agreement. The transfer was not realised due to several reasons but the main one was the departure of the Italian manager.
Could I still move to City? I really don't know if negotiations between clubs are still ongoing but for me probably the best thing would be to stay at Stoke City until the end of the season as in that way I would be truly ready for World Cup in Brazil.
The goalkeeper’s revelation comes at an interesting time in the context of City’s goalkeeping options, following Pellegrini’s recent decision to drop Joe Hart.
Hart committed a series of costly errors against Cardiff, Aston Villa, Bayern Munich and Chelsea, prompting Pellegrini to replace him with the relatively inexperienced Costel Pantilimon.
Begovic is widely viewed as one of the top keepers in the Premier League and has previously been linked to Arsenal and Liverpool, per Metro.
He recently hit the headlines with his astonishing goal against Southampton, beating Artur Boruc after 12 seconds from inside his own area.
However, it is the keeper’s shot-stopping powers and reliability that would have attracted Mancini prior to the Italian’s departure from City.
If Pellegrini feels he needs such an asset for the second half of the season, Begovic is one of the best keepers around who would be deemed eligible for Champions League football.
City will expect to beat CSKA Moscow on Tuesday, which would almost guarantee them a spot in the knockout rounds. Hart’s erratic form would be too risky for such a knife-edge scenario, so Begovic would be a sensible short-term fix.
However, as the player states, he would need to be guaranteed the No. 1 jersey ahead of the World Cup, after Bosnia and Herzegovina topped Group G to book a ticket to Brazil.