Chelsea have ended their interest in Stoke City goalkeeper Asmir Begovic, following complaints over their pursuit of the Bosnia international.
The Stamford Bridge side made it clear they would not continue to pursue Begovic, who is due to be fined two weeks' wages – around £50,000 – for failing to play in Stoke's Carling Cup tie with Shrewsbury on Tuesday. The Blues' manager, Carlo Ancelotti, said yesterday: "The transfer window is closed for us already," drawing a line under the Double-winners' spending.
The clubs meet today at Stamford Bridge with feelings still running high after Stoke's manager, Tony Pulis, accused Chelsea of having unsettled the goalkeeper. The row adds extra spice to the task facing Stoke. Chelsea have stormed to 6-0 victories over Wigan and West Bromwich in their opening two games and won the corresponding fixture last season 7-0.
"They are a top side and they deserve to be a top side with the players they have got," Pulis said. "We know how difficult it's going to be and they have started like a house on fire, so we are going into the lion's den."
"On the back of getting beaten by Manchester United at Wembley [in the Community Shield], that might have been the kick up the backside they needed because they have really flown out of the blocks."Reuse content