According to reports from The Telegraph, Jack Butland’s impressive displays for Stoke City have caught the attention of Everton, Liverpool and Manchester United.
The 22-year-old became the Potters’ No.1 at the start of the season following Asmir Begovic’s departure to Chelsea
and has adequately filled the void, making the third-most saves of any Premier League goalkeeper this term, an impressive 44, and keeping five clean sheets in 14 starts.
But the 6 foot 5 shot-stopper’s enormous potential has been common knowledge for some time. He was Great Britain’s first-choice ‘keeper at the 2012 London Olympics and made his England debut, then aged just 19, a matter of months later.
Now coming good on his heralded ability, Everton and Liverpool were linked with the three-cap international over the weekend, with the papers claiming the Reds would be prepared to pay £20million to sign Butland as a replacement for Simon Mignolet.
But The Telegraph put Manchester United in the frame as well. A move next summer is certainly a feasible scenario, should Real Madrid revive their interest in Red Devils No.1 David De Gea as widely expected.
But manager Stoke chairman Peter Coates has insisted Butland, who agreed a new four-year contract in March, won’t be allowed to leave the Britannia Stadium next summer under any circumstances.
As quoted by The Telegraph, he said in the build-up to Stoke’s Capital One Cup quarter-final against Sheffield Wednesday; “We think Jack is the best young goalkeeper in the country and we can firmly state that selling him at any time soon is not on our agenda.
“We don’t need the money and Jack has still only played 20 Premier League games for us. We want him to be playing for us this season and the next and we won’t entertain any interest. He’s shown everyone how good he is this season and he’s playing every week at a club where he feels settled. He will only get better.”