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Stoke City goalkeeper Asmir Begovic to be disciplined for refusing to play in Carling Cup
Published : 25 Aug 2010 17:24:48
The Bosnian goalkeeper has been the subject of two bids from Chelsea and also interest from Fulham, but still shocked manager Tony Pulis when he informed him on the morning of Tuesday's match that he did not want to play. Pulis held further talks on Wednesday with Begovic, whom Stoke bought from Portsmouth for £3.5 million during the January transfer window, with the club adamant that they will not simply accept the 23 year-old's apparent desire to leave. Related Articles'De Jong should have gone'North Korea players unharmedNewcastle place Steven Taylor on transfer listGerrard and Torres sidelined for LiverpoolAquilani completes loan move to JuventusRedknapp wants urgency against Young BoysHowever, Stoke chairman Peter Coates did strongly indicate that the club would be taking action against their player. 'This is an internal matter and we will decide on what action to take,' Coates said. 'He is regarded as one of the best young goalkeepers in the Premier League and we are not interested in any new offers from Chelsea. 'We are not interested in what Chelsea do and we have already rejected an offer, from them, for Begovic. We wouldn't welcome another bid from Chelsea and, as far as I am aware, we have not received a new offer from Chelsea for him.' In the immediate aftermath of Tuesday's 2-1 win against Shrewsbury, Pulis somewhat cryptically claimed that 'people have been blowing in his [Begovic's] ear'. Chelsea will not comment on their pursuit of Begovic, but it has emerged that they are facing competing interest from Fulham. With Arsenal still determined to push through a deal for Mark Schwarzer, Fulham manager Mark Hughes is looking for potential replacements. While Begovic would be likely to replace Henrique Hilario as Chelsea's understudy to Petr Cech, Fulham would be able to offer him the possibility of regular first-team football. It is understood that the Premier League champions have already offered Stoke as much as £4.5 million. Begovic has the added advantage for Chelsea of qualifying as a home-grown player because, despite his Bosnian nationality, he moved to Portsmouth on a youth contract in 2003 and has therefore spent three years at an English club before he was 21. Chelsea have only five home-grown players at present in John Terry, Frank Lampard, Ashley Cole, Michael Mancienne and Ross Turnbull. Stoke, though, say that their determination to keep Begovic has been unaffected. 'With our chairman it is less likely — I do not think Peter will be pushed around,' Pulis said. 'We won't be giving him away because of what he has done.' Chelsea, meanwhile, have been boosted by the return to training of right-back Jose Bosingwa following 10 months out with a knee injury.