Antonio Conte: This transfer can only happen if Chelsea sign replacement

The Chelsea manager has spoken about transfer speculation linking Asmir Begovic with a move away from Stamford Bridge

Antonio Conte says Asmir Begovic won’t be leaving Chelsea unless the Premier League leaders can find a suitable replacement for the number two goalkeeper.

The Bosnia-Herzegovina international has been linked with a move to Premier League rivals Bournemouth in the January transfer window in search of regular first-team football.

Begovic has played as Thibaut Courtois’s understudy throughout most of the 2016-17 season so far after the shot stopper deputised for the Belgian during his prolonged absence last term.

The Bosnian has experience of playing on the south coast after starting his career at Portsmouth before he moved to Stoke City and then to Chelsea under Jose Mourinho in 2015.

Speaking to the media about Begovic’s situation at the Premier League leaders, Conte admitted that the west London club were open to selling the Chelsea second-choice goalkeeper.

“Begovic will be allowed to leave if we can find a suitable replacement, but if not, he will stay at the club,” Conte is quoted as saying by Sky Sports.

“I’m very happy for his commitment, his behaviours in and out of the pitch.”

MORE: The latest Chelsea news and views

MORE: The latest Chelsea player tweets

Chelsea are sitting eight points clear at the top of the Premier League table ahead of their next top-flight fixture at rivals Liverpool on Tuesday night.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
Thomas Tuchel praises 'fantastic' Arsenal star Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
Callum Hudson-Odoi
Thomas Tuchel sends message to Chelsea FC star Callum Hudson-Odoi
N'Golo Kante
Thomas Tuchel issues N’Golo Kante injury update ahead of Chelsea FC v Leicester City
Gary Lineker
Gary Lineker reacts to Trent Alexander-Arnold's display in Liverpool FC's 4-2 win
Jurgen Klopp
Jurgen Klopp rates Chelsea FC and Man United’s title hopes next season
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
Thomas Tuchel praises 'fantastic' Arsenal star Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
Callum Hudson-Odoi
Thomas Tuchel sends message to Chelsea FC star Callum Hudson-Odoi
N'Golo Kante
Thomas Tuchel issues N’Golo Kante injury update ahead of Chelsea FC v Leicester City
Gary Lineker
Gary Lineker reacts to Trent Alexander-Arnold's display in Liverpool FC's 4-2 win
Jurgen Klopp
Jurgen Klopp rates Chelsea FC and Man United’s title hopes next season
Top 50 Muslim footballers: Arsenal, Chelsea FC, Liverpool FC and Man United stars feature
Top 50 Muslim footballers: Arsenal, Chelsea FC, Liverpool FC and Man United stars feature