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Stoke sign Portsmouth keeper Asmir Begovic

Amir Begovic
Begovic has been a first-team regular for Portsmouth this season

Stoke have signed Portsmouth goalkeeper Asmir Begovic on a four-and-a-half-year contract for £3.25m.

The 22-year-old Bosnia international joined Pompey in 2003 and has made 21 appearances this season.

"We have been tracking Asmir for some time and we believe that potentially he is the best young keeper in the country," said Stoke boss Tony Pulis.

Pulis recently tried to sign Begovic's team-mate David James on loan but the deal faltered over the player's wages.

Begovic, who will compete with Denmark international Thomas Sorensen for a place in Stoke's starting XI, says he is delighted to have secured the move.

"It has been an eventful time for me, one way or another, but I am delighted to be joining Stoke because it is a club moving forward," he said.

"I was aware of interest from one or two clubs, but once I found out that Stoke wanted to sign me, I was convinced that it was the right move for me.


"My time at Portsmouth has been great for my development, but this is an exciting new challenge for me to push on in my career."

Pulis added: "Asmir is someone we have been tracking for some time and we believe that potentially he is the best young goalkeeper in the country.

"It was important we brought in another goalkeeper because we were a bit exposed in that department. Most clubs in the Premier League have three experienced keepers, but we had managed with just the two for a long time.

"Now Asmir's arrival will provide the extra cover we need and it will also create good competition for places."

The Bosnian's departure is a fresh blow for Pompey, the Premier League's bottom side, who have debts of £60m.

All season, they have been plagued by financial trouble and boardroom upheaval.

They have failed to pay their players on time several occasions, are the subject of a winding-up petition and legal action from former player Sol Campbell, and have only recently had a transfer embargo lifted.

Chief executive Peter Storrie has also revealed transfer deals are going on behind his back, and admitted he and manager Avram Grant both have good reason to walk away from the club, but they would not as "neither of us are quitters."

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see also
Stoke hopeful over deal for James
24 Jan 10 |  Stoke
Derby sign Tonge & Vidal on loan
01 Feb 10 |  Derby
Storrie refuses to quit at Pompey
29 Jan 10 |  Portsmouth
Portsmouth transfer embargo ended
26 Jan 10 |  Portsmouth
Sorensen wants to stay with Stoke
17 Jan 10 |  Stoke

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