Chelsea line up £8m alternative to Craig Gordon as Conte looks for ideal replacement

Chelsea are reportedly looking at Newcastle United goalkeeper Karl Darlow as a potential replacement for Asmir Begovic if he leaves for Bournemouth.

As noted by The Telegraph, Begovic is expected to join Eddie Howe’s side before the January transfer window deadline, but ultimately it depends on whether or not Chelsea can bring in an adequate replacement.

The report adds that Celtic shot-stopper Gordon had emerged as a top target for Antonio Conte, who needs a reliable back-up option for Thibaut Courtois for between now and the end of the season in the event that the Belgian misses playing time.

However, according to The Guardian deputy news editor Ed Aarons, as seen in the tweet below, Gordon isn’t the only man on the Chelsea radar with the deadline rapidly approaching.

Darlow is also being considered but he would fetch a fee of around £8m as the Magpies wouldn’t want to lose him at this stage of the season.

Rafa Benitez’s side are currently second in the Championship table, two points adrift of leaders Brighton and Hove Albion, while they’ve conceded just 21 goals in 27 games so far this season with Darlow a big factor in that impressive defensive record.

In turn, it would have to take a sizeable transfer fee to prise him away, while there is also the factor as to whether he would be interested in going from starting every game at a Premier League promotion-chasing side to sitting on the bench every week at Stamford Bridge.

It’s a fine balancing act for Chelsea and Conte to deal with, but they will remain hopeful that they can find someone to step in for Begovic if he leaves.

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