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According to various reports all around the English media, Stoke City are "near," "closing in," "set" to "hijack" Shay Given's move to Middlesbrough.  Or something.  Let's take ESPN's word for it.

Stoke City are closing in on the signing of Aston Villa goalkeeper Shay Given, sources have told ESPN FC, a move which could pave the way for Asmir Begovic to join Chelsea.

-source: ESPN

Begovic had been included in Stoke City's pre-season tour squad list and Given has apparently been close to switching from Villa to Middlesbrough, but if these reports are true, we might finally see some movement as far as Chelsea acquiring Petr Cech's replacement goes.  After hearing how we're working double-time on this deal to prevent Manchester United from butting in, it's all gone very quiet.  Which is a bit ironic, and also somewhat annoying.  (Presuming our interest in Begovic turns out to be true, unlike that whole Arda Turan episode.)

Chelsea preseason's set to start in a day or two and right now we're still rolling with Jamal Blackman as our primary backup.  Let's get this sorted, please.

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