Jack Butland: Breaking Down Most Likely Destinations for Coveted Goalkeeper
The suitors are piling up for Birmingham City goalkeeper Jack Butland, as many Premier League giants begin their pursuit of the young star.
The 19-year-old began to turn heads when he joined Birmingham in 2010, but he didn't really take off until the world noticed him as Great Britain's top-notch goalkeeper in the 2012 London Olympics.
Now, Butland is one of the hottest commodities between the pipes as many big clubs try to bring him in as their future star. Many people in England think he'll soon rival Joe Hart for the national team's starting goalkeeper spot.
Let's take a look at the most likely destinations for Jack Butland, and the clubs who have expressed the most interest in him.
Fulham weren't the first club reported to have interest in Butland, but they have emerged as one of the most likely candidates according to Brendan McLoughlin of Mirror.
The Mirror report states that Fulham are ready to make the first move for Butland, and that could very well make them the top candidate. Birmingham City are in dire financial straits, and they could jump at the money even though they'd be better suited waiting for a bigger offer.
Fulham are looking for a long-term replacement for Mark Schwarzer, who finishes up his contract this year.
Don't be surprised if it ends up being Butland in Fulham. Another Mirror report stated the 19-year-old won't leave to be a backup somewhere, which means many of the top-flight clubs courting him are likely out of the picture.
Fulham is a solid club that Butland would almost certainly start for right off the bat.
Back in the summer transfer window, Birmingham City rejected a £6 million offer from Southampton for Butland. But that scenario would likely be different today, as they need the money much more.
Near the bottom of the Premier League table this season, Southampton are certainly desperate to add to their club and begin improving their competence to avoid relegation.
Adding Butland would certainly improve their minus-11 goal differential and bring an improvement to the final line of defense. To Butland's benefit, he'd likely play first-team football there as well and against top-flight clubs.
The struggling Premier League club Liverpool looks to be among the biggest buyers in the January transfer window, and they're reaching to Butland according to this Mirror report.
Liverpool will certainly spend as much cash as anyone on Butland, but the biggest question is if he'll welcome the move. He likely only would if he was assured he'd be the first-team option above Pepe Reina.
If Reina's still on the roster, Liverpool would probably prefer to ease Butland into his permanent role. But if they decide to sell him to Arsenal as has been rumored, it would free up Butland to be the long-term goalkeeper for the Reds.
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