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Chelsea to sign European champion goalkeeper, says manager

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A new Portuguese keeper for the Hilário-role

Portugal Euro 2016 Victory Parade Photo by Carlos Rodrigues/Getty Images

In a rather surprising revelation, Dinamo Zagreb manager Zlatko Kranjcar has claimed that his 33-year-old Portuguese goalkeeper and Euro 2016 winner Eduardo will be joining Chelsea after the second leg of the Champions League's playoff round against Austrian side Red Bull Salzburg. The match is set to take place on August 24.

"Eduardo has got the big honour to go to a big club such as Chelsea. I think he is leaving for Stamford Bridge after the Salzburg game."

-Zlatko Kranjcar; source: FourFourTwo

The veteran keeper has also been linked to a return to his native country, with Sporting CP supposedly interested in bringing him back to the Portuguese league. Eduardo was a member of Portugal's national team squad during Euro 2016, collecting the winner’s medal without playing a single minute in the competition. He would most likely be set for a similar role at Chelsea.

Eduardo's arrival at Chelsea could also set the stage for Begovic to leave the club, as the numerous exit rumours claimed since the end of last season. Everton are still looking for a goalkeeper, for example, though have recently been mentioned as a potential exit strategy for the Guardiola’d Joe Hart.

Chelsea have also been linked with AC Milan veteran Diego Lopez. Ideally, whoever plays second or third goalkeeper won’t have a bearing on how the season plays out, though the one nice thing about Begovic is that he’s homegrown so we don’t have to “waste” an foreign spot on a backup.