Chelsea’s search for a new no.1 has now taken them back to re-kindling their interest in Stoke City’s Jack Butland as the Blues aim to solve their goalkeeping problem.
Chelsea are reportedly back in the chase for Stoke City’s Jack Butland and might consider a move for the England International in the coming days. According to the Mirror, Chelsea are trying to make a move for Butland as a contingency plan in the scenario that Thibaut Courtois leaves in this window.
There have been quite many top quality goalkeepers linked with a move to Stamford Bridge, and yet nothing has materialised on that front. Thibaut Courtois has reportedly made it clear he will not sign a new contract, as he angles a move back to Spain and expects to make a move to Real Madrid to be close to his family.
Chelsea have thus far been actively searching for a replacement No.1 for the Belgian and have been handed defeats for many targets already. They have been linked for moves for various players including Pepe Reina and Manchester City’s beleaguered former No.1, Joe Hart. However, they have also been linked to many young keepers.
Jack Butland’s name has again come up on the list because Chelsea seemingly believes they have no chance with other high profile targets such as Jordan Pickford and Kasper Schmeichel. Pickford would cost upwards of £60 million and Schmeichel is seemingly unavailable at this time.
Instead, now the Blues are focusing their efforts to bring in Jack Butland from relegated Stoke City. The player who represented England at the 2018 FIFA World Cup as their reserve goalkeeper is set to cost Chelsea somewhere around the £30 million mark, which would be a decent price for a 25-year-old goalkeeper yet to hit his prime.
Stoke, meanwhile are not willing to sell the keeper, as they eye an immediate return to the Premier League next season and want their significant stars to stay put. That said, it would seemingly look challenging to stop a goalkeeper of Butland’s quality from the clutches of big teams if they come calling.
Butland has been at Stoke City since signing from Birmingham back in 2013. He only became a favoured No.1 recently and had gone on to make 87 appearances for Stoke till date. In between those five years, he has gone on loan several times until he established himself as the club’s undisputed goalkeeper.
Last season he played 35 Premier League matches for Stoke as the Potters were relegated to the Championship. During this process, he conceded 61-goals, keeping clean sheets on six occasions during the season. Despite his team’s failings, he displayed the kind of form that made Gareth Southgate take notice and select him for the World Cup squad.
Butland has a long career ahead of him, and there is a belief that if a big club like Chelsea come calling he might leave Stoke for good. Chelsea, on the other hand, have seemingly accepted defeat in the pursuit of different targets and might think that signing Butland would be their best option in this window. The England International will definitely go a long way to replace Courtois between the sticks.