English Premier League champions Chelsea have announced the signing of Stoke goalkeeper Asmir Begovic as replacement for Petr Cech, who has joined Arsenal.
The london club confirmed Begovic’s arrival on their website on Monday, writing: “Chelsea Football Club is delighted to announce the signing of Asmir Begovic from Stoke City.
“Goalkeeper Begovic, 28, has signed a four-year contract, and becomes our second signing of the summer following the arrival of Radamel Falcao on a season-long loan.”
Begovic said: ‘I am very happy to be joining Chelsea FC. After speaking at length to the manager, I feel like I can develop here and be an important part of this team. I am looking forward to meeting up with the team on Wednesday for the pre-season tour.’
Thibaut Courtois will remain No. 13 with Begovic taking the vacant number No.1 shirt.
Begovic, who stands 6ft 6in, had spent the previous five-and-a-half years with Stoke having joined from his first professional club Portsmouth in early 2010.
At the Britannia Stadium he made 172 appearances, quickly establishing himself as first choice, and scored the Premier League’s longest-ever goal when he netted a clearance from inside his own penalty area against Southampton in November 2013.
Born in the former Yugoslavia, Begovic spent his childhood in Germany and Canada, representing the latter at the Under-20 World Cup before opting to play at senior level for Bosnia-Herzegovina. He was their first-choice goalkeeper at their World Cup finals debut in Brazil last year, and has accumulated 41 caps so far.