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Chelsea tab Fulham goalkeeper as homegrown replacement for Asmir Begović — report

Fulham v Aston Villa - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images

True to our promise in January, Chelsea have allowed backup goalkeeper Asmir Begović to join AFC Bournemouth after the end of the season, getting a good amount of money with a £2m net profit in return, even. Stacks of cash don’t quite make for a good backup goalkeeper however, so now the Blues are once again exploring the market for someone to play second fiddle to Thibaut Courtois. According to the Daily Mail, we’re not looking very far just yet, identifying Fulham goalkeeper Marcus Bettinelli as a homegrown option.

The 25-year-old joined Fulham as a youth player in 2011, graduating to professional football only a year later with a loan to Dartford. Since 2014 he has been a regular at Craven Cottage, though a starter only that first season. He’s spent the last two seasons backing up Andy Lonergan and then David Button. Bettinelli did start the last six games of the season as well as both legs of the playoff semifinals as Button’s struggles were jeopardizing Fulham’s promotion chances. Were he to leverage that run into a starting job next season, it would be hard to see why he’d want to join Chelsea instead.

Money does of course speak volumes. Begović was much more established when he joined two years ago, for example. Incidentally, Bettinelli was also rumored before the older man signed with Mourinho’s champions. As in 2015, the best thing about Bettinelli would be that he’s homegrown and would thus not take up one of the 17 allotted non-homegrown spots in the squad. The Mail do not put a price on the potential transfer, but Bettinelli does have two more years left on his Fulham contract.

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