Under the right circumstances, Jack Butland is a wise signing for Chelsea.
He's been a target for the club this January, but a move may not be in the cards. The Guardian reported that Butland turned down what would have been a £3.5 million move to Stamford Bridge. He wants regular first-team football, and he doesn't look to get that at Chelsea.
You can understand where he's coming from. However, that doesn't mean the Blues should end their pursuit.
Despite his relatively small role, Butland could be the goalkeeper of the future. He would have to take a back seat to Petr Cech until becoming the heir apparent. That's what Chelsea should be telling him.
In addition, Butland would be a great backup for the club in the present.
Despite his youth, the 19-year-old Butland would immediately be an upgrade over the goalkeepers the Blues have behind Cech. Ross Turnbull has never followed through on the potential he's shown in the past, and Henrique Hilario isn't good enough to occupy a place on a team like Chelsea.
Turnbull was extremely poor in the 2-2 draw with Brentford. Chelsea supporters must shudder to think how bad Hilario is.
Many might point to Thibaut Courtois as one of the biggest reasons Chelsea doesn't need another young keeper, considering Courtois is one of the best young keepers in the world.
After being sent out on a second loan to Atletico Madrid, though, you have to wonder what his future would be at Stamford Bridge. Courtois has never once suited up for Chelsea. Almost as soon as his transfer to the club was confirmed, he was loaned out to Atletico.
Courtois' future is even more of a question when you consider the Blues' interest in Butland.
Rafa Benitez may be many things, but he is not an idiot when it comes to football. He would allow the transfer of Butland knowing full well that Courtois would be coming back.
Should they choose to sell him outright, the Blues could almost certainly come close to doubling their €6 million investment in Courtois.
With FIFA Financial Fair Play, the club must be more diligent now when it comes to the bottom line, so the fee made from a Courtois transfer could open the Blues up to bring in reinforcements or balance the books.
Chelsea also needs to think about the home-grown player rule. With Daniel Sturridge already gone and Frank Lampard, Ashley Cole and John Terry likely to come off the books in a few years, the club will be in serious need of some British players.
In order to help the club remain on the right side of the rule, Butland would be of a much greater benefit than Courtois.
He's going to be a great keeper, but Courtois moving to Stamford Bridge could just turn out to be one of those moves that simply wasn't going to work out.
Butland would be a much more prudent signing at this point.
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