The 2015 Premier League summer transfer window is expected to gather pace as June blends into July, with Petr Cech set to leave Chelsea for Arsenal in an £11 million move and Nathaniel Clyne taking the well-travelled road from Southampton to Liverpool for a £12.5 million toll.
Those switches are considered such certainties that the affected clubs are already working on their contingency measures.
Chelsea, the [2.66] Premier League winner market favourites, are definitely going to need to sign a new goalkeeper having let Thibaut Courtois’ other understudy Mark Schwarzer depart in January and shown little inclination so far to test out 21-year-old reserve Jamal Blackman.
It was initially reported that they would go fairly low key by pursuing Robert Green, Shay Given or – before he confirmed his retirement plans – Brad Friedel: experienced shot-stoppers who still perform to a high level, but have spent time on the bench so would be open to the role of deputy.
However, it has since emerged that they have instead moved for Asmir Begovic, a long-term number one for top-half side Stoke.
The Potters are receptive to selling because his contract expires next year and they have England U21 captain Jack Butland ready to replace him, and Sky Sports claim that Chelsea “head the queue”.
This would potentially impact on Manchester United, who had supposedly shortlisted the Bosnian as a possible successor to Real Madrid target David de Gea. Tottenham’s Hugo Lloris is an alternative for that position, while another option is to promote decorated current bench-warmer Victor Valdes.
It is also suggested that Louis van Gaal’s [6.8]-rated title hopefuls will be the most troubled team if Liverpool complete the purchase of Clyne, as they are shopping for a right back this summer too.
Republic of Ireland international Seamus Coleman is alleged to have taken over as their first-choice candidate, though he is two years older than Clyne and has three years longer on his existing contract than the Southampton man, causing Everton to value him at the heftier price of £20 million.
The Saints appear to have prepared for the prospect of losing Clyne, signing Sporting Lisbon’s 23-year-old Portugal-capped right back Cedric Soares for around £4.7 million earlier in June.