Stoke City goalkeeper Asmir Begovic has revealed that he has not yet agreed to sign for Manchester United, but that he expects to be on the move in the summer.
Begovic has long been linked to United and that speculation has gone into overdrive since Stoke signed and then loaned back young England goalkeeper Jack Butland. It has been widely reported that Stoke signed Butland with Begovic’s departure in mind, with the Bosnian said to be interesting a number of top clubs.
Begovic expects that he will soon be joining a more illustrious club.
“I read in the papers that I said no to City and yes to United," Begovic told Bosnian newspaper Oslobodjenje. "But the truth is, I haven't decided on anything.
"I didn't say yes or no to anybody. I haven't signed anything - no contract, no pre-contract. But I believe that 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.
"Now I'm just happy that January is over. It was a hard month for us, so many rumors. Now, we can focus on our games again."
Another player, who has reportedly been the subject of strong interest from United for a summer move, has also been in the news. Borussia Dortmund striker Robert Lewandowski has less than 18 months remaining on his contract and is thought to be open to a move away from the German champions, with some sources claiming United have already lined up a summer move.
However, German publication Spiegel has claimed on Tuesday that Lewandowski is instead set to join Dortmund’s German rivals Bayern Munich for next season.
Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc has dismissed the speculation.
"There is no new state of play,” he told television station Sport1. “We will not comment on that, because nothing has changed for us."
"If a player negotiates with another club, we cannot stop that. But as we speak, we do not know anything about it."
One United target appears to have committed himself to his current club for the time being. Despite repeated reports suggesting that Manchester United are keen on Kurt Zouma, the young central defender has signed a new contract at Saint-Etienne.
The highly-rated 18-year-old is now tied down until 2017, although there will doubtless be talk that his new deal merely ensures Saint-Etienne will receive a sizable fee for the France Under-19 international. Yet Zouma appears to be looking forward to a future at his current club.
"This extension is a great vote of confidence in me from the club,” he said, according to TalkSport.
"Saint-Etienne means a lot to me because it is where I was developed.
"This is a new step in my career. I still need to learn. I will also gain experience and I know that will help me to grow.
With Brazil currently in London for the meeting with England, there is understandably plenty of press coverage for Santos sensation Neymar. The forward, who turned 21 on Tuesday, was reported to have been the subject of a bid from Manchester United in the closing stages of last summer’s transfer window, while he has also been linked with most of Europe’s top clubs.
It continues to look likely that Neymar will stay put until after the 2014 World Cup, while a Brazil insider has reportedly told the Sun that he’s likely next destination is Spain.
“Everyone knows that Neymar will stay in Brazil until the World Cup—but also that in 2014 he will probably leave for Barcelona or Madrid,” the source reportedly said.
Quite what is meant by a “Brazil insider” is anyone’s guess, but everything does seem to point toward Neymar moving to Spain and likely Barcelona. There have even been reports that there is already a deal in place to take Neymar to the Camp Nou, although they have been denied by all parties.
To contact the editor, e-mail: