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Feb 5, 2013

Begovic expects summer Stoke exit

Asmir Begovic has revealed he expects to be sold by Stoke City in the summer following the arrival of Jack Butland from Birmingham City.

Asmir Begovic saves a shot from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
Asmir Begovic was in inspired form for Stoke against Arsenal at the weekend

- Blog: Begovic to bale?

New £3.5 million signing Butland will return to Stoke permanently at the end of the season, after being loaned back to his former club Birmingham for the remainder of the campaign.

And Begovic believes that will probably be the time Stoke begin to consider allowing him to leave the Britannia Stadium, with Manchester United and Manchester City both said to be keen to sign him.

Begovic is currently on international duty with Bosnia and Herzegovina ahead of Wednesday's friendly against Slovenia in Ljubljana and has is quoted by Oslobodjenje as saying he expects to move on next summer.

"I read in the papers that I said no to City and yes to United, but the truth is, I haven't decided on anything," Begovic said.

"I didn't say yes or no to anybody. I haven't signed anything - no contract, no pre-contract, but I believe Stoke didn't buy Butland to be a reserve so I think I'm going to be sold in the summer.

"To whom? I can't move to a smaller club and I also know that some top clubs are interested in me. They are also the only ones who can afford the fee."

Begovic has reportedly been identified by United as a prime target in the summer, with Sir Alex Ferguson looking to solve his goalkeeping situation at Old Trafford.

And Begovic would relish plying his trade on the European stage. He added: "I want to help Stoke advance, but I have ambitions and I would like to play more often in Europe."

It has been suggested Stoke would drive a hard bargain with potential suitors and that their asking price could be as large as £15 million for the 26-year-old.

"Reacting to the reports, Begovic said: "I've got a three-and-a-half-year contract with Stoke and certainly will not let leave easily, but I do not believe that the price will be £15 million."

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