Following reports that Simon Mignolet and Julio Cesar may be making moves once touted for Asmir Begovic, where does he go from here?
Back in January there was talk of a £15million move to Manchester United…or Arsenal…or Liverpool – depending on which newspaper you read. The Bosnian’s steady and increasingly experienced hands seen as the ideal ones in which to place a club’s future.
With David De Gea struggling at United, it seemed only a matter of time before Sir Alex Ferguson lost patience. And with Pepe Reina set to leave Anfield in the summer, and Arsene Wenger seemingly not having complete faith in any of his current ‘keepers, the competition for Begovic’s services was at its highest.
And then De Gea found his form, and Liverpool and Arsenal started to look elsewhere, and the 25-year-old Stoke stopper may be wondering what he has done to lose his shine.
But following reports that QPR’s Julio Cesar is on his way to the Emirates, there is now talk that Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has settled on Sunderland’s Simon Mignolet as a replacement for the outgoing Reina.
The news from Barcelona that Victor Valdes will remain at the Nou Camp for one more year hasn’t stopped the stories that his countryman is soon to follow. And Rodgers’ interest in Mignolet may have as much to do with cost as with talent.
Should Stoke hold firm on their valuation of a ‘keeper they have no need to sell, it will be no surprise if Liverpool look elsewhere for cheaper and yet equally talented alternatives.
While Cesar to Arsenal makes total sense – a team requiring experience between the sticks signing a man with copious amounts for a reduced price from a relegated club.
Of course Sunderland may reject Liverpool’s reported approach for Mignolet. Or perhaps the move is merely an orchestrated attempt to drive Stoke’s asking price down.
But with Jack Butland set to fight for a starting place at the Britannia Stadium next season, new manager Mark Hughes has a decision to make.
Should no one come in for Begovic, that decision may simply be a case of choosing which of his remarkably talented young ‘keepers he makes first-choice.
Would Arsenal or Liverpool fans still prefer to see Begovic as their 'keeper ahead of Cesar or Mignolet?
image: © ronnie macdonald