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Begovic 'very happy' to stay at Stoke

ESPN staff
June 12, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »
Asmir Begovic has attracted the interest of Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal © Getty Images
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Asmir Begovic says he is thinking only of playing for Stoke City next season - despite the door to his possible departure being left open by chairman Peter Coates.

The wealthy club boss has said that the 25-year-old keeper would be allowed to leave up to three years before the end of his contract if a leading European club came up with the necessary asking price.

But Stoke's Player of the Year, who has been linked in the past with Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool, is expecting to be around at the Britannia Stadium to try to hold off the challenges to his first-team place from Jack Butland and Thomas Sorensen.

"I am happy to be here and I am happy to stay here," Begovic said. "I am looking forward to reporting back in pre-season, meeting the new manager and staff and cracking on with the new season.

"The most important thing is I am at a club where I am settled and I feel comfortable. Everyone has been really good to me and the chairman has been fantastic.

"I am going to have to work hard to keep my place and I am looking forward to that. Jack [Butland] is a good up-and-coming keeper and everyone knows about Thomas and the qualities he has. He has a good deal of experience and quality. We have a strong group of goalkeepers and I am looking forward to being part of it."

Stoke rate Begovic at £15m and are not under any pressure to sell him as they plan for life under new manager Mark Hughes.

The keeper's stock could be about to rise even higher as he is heading for next summer's World Cup finals in Brazil with Bosnia and Herzegovina.

He helped them to a 5-0 win in Latvia last Friday to keep them three points clear at the top of their qualifying group and added: "It would be incredible if we could get through to the finals."

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