Stoke fight to keep Begovic from Liverpool

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Stoke City owner Peter Coates says he expects their goalkeeper Asmir Begovic to remain at the Britannia Stadium nest season, despite speculation linking him with a move to Liverpool.

Last week, it was reported that Liverpool could be close to signing the Bosnian international should Pepe Reina leave Anfield this summer.

However, Coates, who appointed Mark Hughes as manager at Stoke City on Thursday to replace Tony Pulis, says Begovic is thought of very highly at the club.

“Asmir is a super professional player,” Coates told Sky Sports News. “We like him very much. He is a top, top goalkeeper. I think he is as good as anybody in the Premier League.

“But he is also ambitious. If top clubs come for your players, I do not think you can deny them the opportunity. That is my view.

“But it would depend very much on the money being right. We are not looking to sell him. We are not expecting to sell him. We expect him to be our goalkeeper next season.”

Reds goalkeeper Reina dropped a hint earlier this week that his days at Liverpool may be nearing an end, amid speculation linking him with a return to Barcelona this summer.

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