Matching reports in the Telegraph (Matt Law) and the Guardian (Dom Fifield), alongside earlier reports from the likes of ESPN (Pete O’Rourke) claim that Chelsea have reversed course on Asmir Begovic and are now willing to sell ... provided we find a replacement first. The Blues had rejected a £10m bid last week from Bournemouth.
Chelsea are now supposedly working on a shortlist (an effort possibly led by former goalkeeper coach Christophe Lollichon), though with just a week left in the January transfer window, and Begovic scheduled to play in the FA Cup match this weekend, any possible transfer just might get delayed until the summer.
Reports agree that Chelsea are “sympathetic” to Begovic’s desire to play more, but with Courtois and the defense in great form, that’s unlikely to happen at Chelsea this season. It sounds like if Begovic isn’t sold now, he will surely be allowed to move on in the summer after two years of solid, professional service. Fair enough.
As far as replacements go, AC Milan veteran Diego Lopez and Newcastle spare part Tim Krul are named in the reports, but it’s understood that more options will be added to the list. The 35-year-old Lopez has been linked with Chelsea before, but is currently on loan as Espanyol, where he’s first-choice and thus unlikely to want to join at the moment. Tim Krul, the first and only goalkeeper to be subbed in for a penalty kick shootout in a World Cup match, is perhaps a more realistic option.
Krul has plenty of top flight experience, but had missed over a year with a ruptured ACL. He joined Ajax on loan in the summer as part of a rehab assignment — he’s yet to make an appearance for their first-team but has been playing regularly with the second-team since mid-November. His Newcastle contract is up this summer.
As far as Eduardo goes, he remains firmly third choice at Chelsea and apparently not a realistic option to take over backup duties.