According to reports earlier this week, Stoke City goalkeeper Jack Butland will resist advances from any of the Premier League’s big guns this summer in favour of staying at the Britannia.
The article, in which no quotes from Butland or any of his representatives are offered, suggests the England international is happy with the Potters having finally claimed the number one jersey and doesn’t want to sacrifice it so soon.
It’s reasonable logic from the 22-year-old, who after spending last season bench-warming for Asmir Begovic, doesn’t want to risk being a back up elsewhere when he’s playing regular top-flight football at present.
Such a standpoint is refreshing at a time when plenty of young prospects too eagerly jeopardise their careers by opting to join a reputable outfit where they stand little chance of breaking into the team, but in Butland’s case, it’s an unwise move.
This summer is arguably the best chance he’ll have to secure a transfer to one of the top-tier’s heavy hitters and stake a claim for a regular place, with potential net minder changes for all the fact cats aside from Arsenal and Manchester City on the horizon.
At Manchester United for example, speculation linking David de Gea with Real Madrid refuses to go away, while Paris Saint-Germain last week became the latest subscribers to the Spaniard’s huge fan club.
Should the Red Devils fail to qualify for next season’s Champions League, and all probability suggests they will, it’s tough to envisage De Gea sticking around with such high profile interest in him.
Liverpool’s number one Simon Mignolet may have recently extended his Anfield contract, but he is not short of critics, with questions still pervading whether he’s good enough for an elite outfit.
The prospect of the Reds upgrading on the Belgian isn’t out of the question.
Tottenham may end up in need of a keeper too, with Hugo Lloris lauded as one of the world’s best net minders and a possible transfer target for any of the game’s biggest sides should they decide to sign a keeper this summer. As is proved through their De Gea interest, both Real Madrid and PSG want a keeper.
Finally, it could be argued that Chelsea need an onion bag warden too, with Thibaut Courtois struggling to vindicate the massive hype that preceded his Stamford Bridge arrival.
Such an array of options means Butland would be wrong to stick with Stoke for another season, especially if he has designs on moving on eventually anyway.