Liverpool has emerged as a potential destination for Birmingham City goalkeeper Jack Butland this summer according to The Daily Mail. Brendan Rodgers has reportedly earmarked Butland, who has established himself as Stuart Pearce’s number one for Team GB in the London Olympics, as a straight replacement for Australian keeper, Brad Jones who Liverpool are looking to move on to Norwich City.
Butland, who spent last season on loan at Chesterfield, was selected as part of Roy Hodgson’s Euro 2012 England squad and has since seen his stock rise and rise following a string of impressive displays in the Olympics. Should he finish 2012 at Anfield it will undoubtedly cap an unforgettable year for the 19 year old who, international appearances aside, has only ever played League Two football.
But that hasn’t put off Rodgers who believes that Butland is the perfect man to put pressure on first choice goalkeeper Pepe Reina next season. Not only will he provide competition for Reina, who has won two World Cups with Spain, but the Liverpool boss will also be hoping Butland can develop and learn from Reina, so he is ready to cement his own place in the starting eleven in the not too distant future.
Despite Liverpool’s excessive spending over the past two seasons, the owners are believed to be keen on sanctioning a move for Butland, due to his promising displays and his future potential and sell-on value. Whilst it won’t take a fee of over £10 million to prise the teenager away from St. Andrews, Birmingham are unlikely to want to sell so the price will have to be right. Given Butland’s age the Championship side will be loath to lose him, not least as they could recoup a bigger fee in the future. Already having a history of helping develop young English goalkeepers (Joe Hart and Ben Foster), it is not beyond the realms of possibility that they may be able to tempt Butland to stay with first team football, however, should Liverpool come calling, it is unlikely they will.
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