Nottingham Forest look set to for another busy couple of months as they bid to fulfil their promotion dream next season.
Several new recruits were added to Martin O’Neill’s ranks during the January transfer window and more are likely to follow this summer.
The latest player to be linked with a switch to the City Ground is AFC Bournemouth goalkeeper Asmir Begović. According to Greek outlet SDNA, Evangelos Marinakis’ other club, Olympiacos, are also interested in the 6ft 6in stopper.
It has been questioned among Forest supporters whether the Reds boss might attempt to sign a new goalkeeper. It probably isn’t one of the Northern Irishman’s priorities.
The Reds currently have Costel Pantilimon, Luke Steele and Jordan Smith contracted for next season. The club’s retained list, recently announced via the club’s official site, confirmed Stephen Henderson’s departure.
Here at Seat Pitch we assess the pros and cons of the Reds securing a potential deal for Begović.
So what makes this a potentially good deal for the Reds?
First of all, Begović is arguably better than O’Neill’s current goalkeeping options. He hasn’t made over 200 appearances in the Premier League by fluke. The 31-year-old would be a quality addition. Artur Boruc has been Eddie Howe’s first choice in recent months, but Begović still made 24 appearances.
The ex-Stoke City and Chelsea stopper has also made over 60 appearances for his country, Bosnia and Herzegovina. He played all three games for his country when they historically qualified for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
He has experience of playing at the very top level. This would make him a good addition not only to the team, but to the dressing room too.
Secondly, the Reds do need another option in the goalkeeping department. It’s unlikely that O’Neill will want to be utilising Steele or Smith next season. This means that another keeper will have to be signed to compete with Pantilimon.
There might not be many better goalkeepers on the move this summer than Begović.
But there’s always cons to any deal, so what reasons are there to potentially avoid this transfer?
There’s one clear stumbling block for any potential deal to sign Begović.
According to Spotrac, he is earning £70k-a-week at the Vitality Stadium. That is a eye-watering amount and would make him by far the highest earner at the City Ground. As he currently has two years to run on his current deal, would he really be willing to take such a big pay cut?
However, the other potential con is that it might be slightly harsh on Pantilimon. The Romanian was much-improved towards the end of the season, and perhaps deserves a chance to build on that.
Admittedly, he did have many shaky moments throughout the season. But there aren’t many Championship goalkeepers who enjoyed a flawless season. Kiko Casilla’s howler for Leeds United against Derby County was further evidence of the impact a goalkeeper’s mistake can make.
But Begović would arguably be a significant upgrade, and if the money is right, would be an astute addition.