Premier League goalkeeper: City were very close to signing me last season

Asmir Begovic Stoke V Arsenal

Stoke’s Asmir Begovic has claimed that Roberto Mancini was keen to bring him to the Etihad Stadium last term.

With Joe Hart dropped from the Manchester City side after one-too-many errors, transfer rumblings over just who the Etihad Stadium side have been looking at as a future goalkeeper have been rife in the media.

However, one name that repeatedly pops up when City are linked to a new stopper is Stoke City’s Asmir Begovic.

The Bosnian goalkeeper has revealed that City made an approach for him last season, and only Roberto Mancini’s dismissal as manager stopped a deal from happening.

"As players, we are the last to find out things, probably our agents and club officials find out first without talking to us, then at the latter stage of negotiations they will tell us," Begovic is quoted as saying by Sarajevo-based newspaper Dnevni Avaz.

"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."

With Hart’s erratic performances and the inexperience of Costel Pantilimon, City are still being linked with switches for other keepers.

When asked if there was a chance that he could potentially move to City in the future, Begovic admitted that he was keen to stay at the Britannia Stadium for the time being.

"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,” he concluded.

Whether City do make efforts in the transfer market to sign a new goalkeeper remains to be seen, but the likelihood is that Manuel Pellegrini will assess the situation closer to the transfer window opening up.

Hart, on his day, is one of the best goalkeepers in the Premier League and was integral to City title success in 2011-12. Being dropped from the side may well focus the England number one, as in the past he had something of an ‘undroppable’ tag.

However, should City’s goalkeeper woes still be present come the end of the season, Begovic’s steady gloves could well be just the solution that the high-flyers need.

image: © ronnie macdonald

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