Matthew Etherington sees Aston Villa appeal for Stoke's Asmir Begovic

Asmir Begovic Stoke V Arsenal

Aston Villa continue to be heavily linked with a move for Stoke City goalkeeper Asmir Begovic.

Former Stoke City winger Matthew Etherington has conceded to the Sentinel that he understands why Asmir Begovic may be tempted by a proposed move to Aston Villa.

Tim Sherwood’s side are reported to have already seen once approach for the Bosnia international knocked back, but the Daily Star are reporting that a second bid is now being readied.

Villa are by no means the only side to have been linked with Begovic, with the Daily Mirror recently suggesting that Premier League champions Chelsea are considering an approach as they prepare to part with Petr Cech – with the BBC claiming that his mooted switch to Arsenal is almost complete.

Game time would be in short supply at Stamford Bridge, though, as Cech has discovered, with Thibaut Courtois the undisputed first-choice for Jose Mourinho’s Blues.

Things would be different at Villa, with veteran Irishman Shay Given currently competing with Brad Guzan for a starting berth in the Midlands.

Begovic would, as a performer still approaching his peak, expect to walk straight into the side were a move to be made, and it is for that reason – with Jack Butland now providing an alternative at Stoke – that Etherington believes an agreement that suits all parties could be reached.

He told the Sentinel: “If he went to Chelsea he would obviously be going to a big club, one that expects to win trophies, which is always an attraction.

"But how much game time would he get? He'd probably see some action in the cup games, but Thibault Courtois is obviously Jose Mourinho's number one as things stand in the Premier League and the Champions League.

"So that's a big decision and that's why any interest from Aston Villa might interest him because he'd be going there as number one."

Obvious attraction, but does move make sense?

In many ways, it does.

Stoke are aware of the need to move Begovic on this summer as he prepares to enter the final year of his contract, with there no indication that an extension to those terms is on the cards.

If they can find someone willing to meet their valuation for a player they no longer need, regardless of how experienced and valued he is and has been, then they should cash in.

Whether Villa would be the right move for Begovic, a man who continues to be linked with Arsenal and Manchester United by the Express, remains open to debate, but he would at least be guaranteeing himself regular football at a club seemingly moving in the right direction again under the guidance of Sherwood.

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