Villa’s Begovic bid rejected

Begovic, 27, is entering the final 12 months of his contract and is understood to have held discussions over his future with manager Mark Hughes and chief executive Tony Scholes, who are keen to tie him down to a new deal.

Several English newspapers have reported that Chelsea and Manchester United are interested in the Bosnia-Herzegovina international, and it now appears Aston Villa’s intentions to provide top-quality competition to Brad Guzan are clear.

Begovic signed for Stoke from Portsmouth in 2010 and quickly established himself as the club’s first choice, but he was left out of a number of Premier League games at the end of last season – something boss Hughes admitted the keeper did not take kindly to.

Jack Butland, the England U21s keeper, was preferred ahead of him and Sky sources understand that, if Begovic leaves, Butland will become their No 1. If Begovic stays, Butland will be allowed to leave the Britannia on loan.

Born in the former Yugoslavia, Begovic moved to Canada with his family at 10 years old.He played youth football in Germany for FC??Kirchhausen and became a Canada U20 international before his senior international debut with Bosnia-H.??

He moved to Portsmouth in 2005 and had loan spells with Yeovil, Bournemouth and Ipswich.

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