Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 3 September 2014

Coates hails Begovic quality

Asmir Begovic has been in fine form for Stoke this season

Stoke chairman Peter Coates believes there are no goalkeepers in the Barclays Premier League better than Asmir Begovic and will not be surprised if a top European club comes in for the Bosnia international.

Potters number one Begovic has been linked with various major English top-flight sides over the last few years and it was recently reported that Spain's Atletico Madrid and Italian giants Napoli were interested in the 26-year-old.

Coates is in no doubt as to Begovic's quality and can certainly envisage an approach being made for him that would be tempting for the player - something the 75-year-old thinks Stoke are ready to deal with pragmatically.

"I feel he's as good as anybody in the Premier League," Coates told The Sentinel.

"I don't know anyone who is better.

"You always have to be realistic about these things. If a call came from a top European club and was attractive to him, then you have to look at it.

"It wouldn't be much of a surprise to me and that's why we have contingency plans in place with other goalkeepers at the club.

"We would be reluctant to sell him because you want to keep your best players, but equally you are realistic about things. You also have to consider the player's view."

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