Liverpool target edges closer to Stoke City contract extension

Liverpool target Jack Butland is close to agreement a new long-term deal with Stoke City, according to reports from Skysports.

The 23-year-old has attracted interest from the Reds after current first choice selection Simon Mignolet has been criticised for his performances in recent months.

Stoke are hoping to agree a five-year deal with Butland in order to ward off additional interest despite the goalkeeper having another three years left on his current contract.

His displays this season have also made him the number one contender to overtake England first-choice selection Joe Hart for a spot in the national team.

He is expected to be named as back-up to Hart by manager Roy Hodgson ahead of the upcoming Euro 2016 competitions this summer.

Butland was also previously linked with a move to Manchester United during the January window amid speculation that David de Gea could leave Old Trafford.

He has already featured 34 times in all competitions for his side this term, so far managing to keep 12 clean sheets in the process.