United were ready to splash the cash on deadline day but Stoke boss Tony Pulis was not willing to sell the 25-year old Bosnian. The Potters signed Butland, 19, for £4million and have loaned him back to Birmingham for the rest of the season.
However, Begovic will prefer a move to United at the end of the season, although United are not ready to sell David de Gea. The Red Devils would only consider sale if interested clubs like Barcelona and Real Madrid meet United's £17million asking price which they paid Atletico Madrid in 2011.
United boss Sir Alex Ferguson is not completely convinced with his current goalkeepers David de Gea and Anders Lindegaard. Manchester City have also shown keen interest in Begovic, with a view to give tough competition to Joe Hart.
Meanwhile, United have been eyeing Liverpool keeper Pepe Reina but face heavy competition from Barcelona. United also signed 19-year old Dean Santangelo from Augsburg but not as a direct replacement for De Gea.
Begovic's choice to join United is clear as he doesn't intend to face direct competition from Hart at City. At Old Trafford, the Potters No. 1 will directly replace De Gea in goal. United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has looked at other options across Europe with Fernando Muslera from Galatasaray, Newcastle United's Tim Krul and Sunderland's Simon Mignolet.
Pulis signed Begovic for £3.25 million from Portsmouth in 2010 replacing Denmark No. 1 Thomas Soresen. At his time at Portmouth, Begovic was sent on loan to five different clubs including a spell in Belgium. Since joining Stoke Begovic has made 90 appearances for the club and 17 for his country.