Liverpool Transfer Rumors: Reds Smart to Inquire About Goalkeeper Jack Butland

Steven Cook@@stevencookinFeatured Columnist IVDecember 31, 2012

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 17: Jack Butland of Birmingham in action during the npower Championship match between Birmingham City and Hull City at St. Andrews on November 17, 2012 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by Ben Hoskins/Getty Images)
Ben Hoskins/Getty Images

Getting an up-and-coming goalkeeper isn't exactly a transfer option most clubs look to year in and year out, but it's a vital move if the right opportunity presents itself. That's exactly what Liverpool has with Birmingham City keeper Jack Butland.

Birmingham's acting chairman Peter Pannu told the Birmingham Mail (via Goal.com) that Liverpool have shown interest in the young goalkeeper, but said that they aren't the only club to have done so.

The 19-year-old English footballer is likely to become one of the hottest commodities in net protecting over the coming years, but because of his young age, he hasn't been courted wide-scale as of yet. The only teams he's been linked to are Everton and Southampton.

That doesn't mean he's incapable of becoming an elite Premier League goalkeeper, though.

In fact, Butland became the youngest English keeper to play for the international squad over the summer when he helped defeat Italy. He also shined in the 2012 Summer Olympics, where he was the squad's starting goalkeeper.

After the amazing summer Butland had, it wouldn't be farfetched to assume he has major potential to be the next Joe Hart.

If there's one thing that will aide Liverpool in returning to the top four of English club football, it's garnering elite young talent before their rivals can get involved.

With current Liverpool starter Pepe Reina at 30 years of age, it's apparent that a switch will have to be made in the next few years. Although Reina has been a solid contributor to an otherwise mediocre Liverpool side in recent seasons, his best days have passed. However, he could still be utilized to help train the Reds' new-age keeper.

Investing in Butland over the January transfer window won't be too expensive, either. Birmingham are in dire straits financially and would likely jump at a smaller offer for their goalkeeper.

Pannu told the Birmingham Mail (via the Guardian): "I have rejected £6m from Southampton but I rejected it when our finances were OK. As the time is ticking, I might not be able to reject it if I get something similar."

The timing could not be better for Liverpool to make this move. It's certainly the best money value they'll get for a goalkeeper of his potential and at the right time for the club.

 

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