Chelsea are reportedly preparing a move for Stoke City goalkeeper Asmir Begovic after identifying him as the perfect candidate to replace Petr Cech, according to The Daily Telegraph.
The Czech Republic international has informed the club of his desire to leave after spending a season as Thibaut Courtois' deputy. He has made it clear to the club that he does not wish to waste any more time sitting on the bench.
Jose Mourinho is reluctant to let him leave the club and moreover, join a direct rival, with reports suggesting that Arsenal are leading the race to land the Blues star this summer.
This has prompted the Portuguese manager to intensify the search for Courtois' deputy, and he is keen to sign a top quality goalkeeper, who can provide adequate cover during the course of the season.
The Blues have been linked to various other stoppers in recent months with Queens Park Rangers Robert Green, one of the most frequently mentioned names to take over from Cech.
Begovic has been impressive for Stoke since he joined them from Portsmouth and has always been on the radar of the top clubs. He is entering the final year of his contract with the Potters and has yet to commit his future to the club.
Stoke's chief executive Tony Scholes admitted earlier in June that the Bosnian international is keeping his options open and also revealed that he is possibly talking to interested clubs. Owing to his contract situation at the club, the Britannia Stadium outfit are likely to sell him at the end of the season.
Chelsea will have to fork out £8m ($12.7m) to sign the Bosnian 'keeper despite him having just one year on his contract. And they will not have it easy as Premier League rivals Manchester United are also monitoring the Begovic situation as they look for a replacement for David De Gea, who is likely to join Real Madrid in the summer.
However, according to the Evening Standard, Chelsea will have their task cut out to convince the former Portsmouth 'keeper to move to Stamford Bridge as the Bosnian is not keen on spending the peak of his career sitting on the bench playing backup for Courtois.