Chelsea have approached Birmingham with a view to signing goalkeeper Jack Butland, according to a report from Sky Sports.

Lee Clark acknowledged that cash strapped Brum could be forced to sell prized asset Butland this month to ease their financial woes and that now looks close to becoming a reality as they edge closer to administration.

The talented 19-year-old has been linked with Liverpool, Everton, Newcastle and Southampton in recent months, with the Saints having a £6million offer turned down in the summer.

But he now looks poised to join the Premier League club for around £3.5m, with Rafa Benitez keen to bring the England international to Stamford Bridge despite having Petr Cech and Ross Turnbull to call upon.

Belgian youngster Thibaut Courtois, currently gaining admirers on loan at Atletico Madrid, is also on the books in west London, but Benitez views Butland as a long-term investment and potential successor to Cech’s number one jersey.

The teenager is reluctant to join a club where first-team opportunities are limited and Chelsea are thought to be willing to compromise and allow him to return to St Andrew’s on loan.

The Bristol-born keeper won his first senior international cap in the friendly win over Italy in August and also represented the Great Britain football team at last year’s London Olympics.

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