Stoke determined to keep hold of Asmir Begovic

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Stoke City chairman Peter Coates has confirmed that he has rejected an offer from Premier League leaders Chelsea for goalkeeper Asmir Begovic.

The Potters only signed the 23-year-old Bosnian from Portsmouth in January since when he has featured in four first-team matches for Tony Pulis' team.

Begovic reportedly refused to play in the Carling Cup match against Shrewsbury Town in midweek, and Coates said:"I felt huge disappointment. He's an exceptional young goalkeeper, one of the best in the country.

"Clubs like Chelsea make enquiries about them and their heads can get turned very easily. It's just bad advice they get given, they shouldn't listen to it but obviously they do.

"I know nothing about it (Begovic's proposed transfer to Chelsea). I would say the answer is no. We're in a difficult position here. We just can't go out and find a goalkeeper, they're very hard to find.

"You may have heard a rumour and it may be pretty good information, but the fact is we've rejected any offer they've made. They made an enquiry and they did make an offer and it was rejected.

"Silly offers do have an effect on you but nothing like that has happened and we're not expecting it to happen and our position is we see him remaining our goalkeeper."

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