Chelsea emerge as frontrunners for Butland
Despite their managerial confusion and stadium development set-back it looks like Chelsea could steal a march on the signing of Jack Butland.
He is currently in Russia with the England squad preparing for a World Cup quarter-final against Sweden but is now 3/1 to join The Blues.
At one point it looked like he was all set for a move to Liverpool. Loris Karius’ performance in the Champions League final last season appeared to have made that a given.
But Jurgen Klopp stalled his pursuit as he eyed Roma’s Alisson Becker and Atletico Madrid’s Jan Oblak.
And now it looks as though the Liverpool manager is set to keep faith with Karius.
Butland was one of Stoke’s stand-out players last term in a wretched campaign for the club.
He had originally signed for the Potters from Birmingham City in 2013.
The 25-year-old has come on leaps and bound since then and for many he should have been England’s first choice keeper in Russia this summer.
But Stoke’s relegation has put his club future in real doubt.
Now it appears Chelsea are ready to pounce on the English international with Thibaut Courtois’ future unclear.
Courtois is heavily linked to Real Madrid as new boss Julen Lopetegui plots a way of wrestling La Liga back from Barcelona.
Ladbrokes’ Alex Apati said: “It looks as though we’re set for a goalkeeper merry-go-round this summer, with Butland now expected to leave Stoke for Chelsea to replace Madrid-bound Courtois.”
This one could go down to the wire with a lot of moving pieces still to be fitted together.
But if Chelsea put forward a bid of £30 million then they may just get their man.
Jack Butland Club After Summer
Liverpool – 4/6
Chelsea – 3/1
Wolves – 6/1
Arsenal – 6/1
West Ham – 18/1
Thibaut Courtois Club After Summer
Real Madrid – 10/11
Atletico Madrid – 6/1
PSG – 16/1
All Odds and Markets correct as of date of publication