According to reports in the Stoke Sentinel, Stoke City have issued a hands-off warning to Arsenal as for goalkeeper Jack Butland after Bleacher Report stated earlier this week that the Gunners were keen on a move for the England international.
Well, Bleacher Report claimed that Butland is Arsene Wenger’s number one target to replace Petr Cech in the long-term at the Emirates, with next season likely to be Cech’s last for the Gunners.
The report added that if Arsenal are not successful with a bid for the 24-year-old this summer then they will wait and try again, rather than move on to another target.
That could be what happens as according to the Stoke Sentinel, the Potters have no intention to let Butland leave the club this summer after he only signed a new five-and-a-half year contract in March 2016.
He is hugely impressive and was handed the number one shirt at Stoke at the start of the 2015/16 season following the departure of Asmir Begovic to Chelsea.
The stopper didn’t disappoint and he was hugely impressive throughout the campaign until he fractured his ankle while playing for England against Germany in March 2016.
He still won the Potters’ Player of the Season award though but more ankle issues meant that he only played the final five games of the 2016/17 campaign, keeping two clean sheets in the process.
He certainly would be.
The goalkeeper looks to have all of the attributes to play at the highest level and he would be an excellent replacement for Cech.
In fact, it is widely thought that he could be the England number one at the 2018 World Cup in Russia if he impresses next season, especially with doubts over the future of Joe Hart at club level and some questionable performances from the 30-year-old in recent times.
While they were certainly believe they can keep hold of him this summer, it may be difficult to keep hold of him this time next year, especially if he has impressed for club and country.
With Stoke unlikely to be challenging for the Champions League places next season, then the player may feel that they can’t match his future ambitions and he could look to move on.
Well, while a move to Arsenal looks unlikely this summer, the Gunners look like they aren’t willing to give in and a deal is certainly more likely to happen in 2018.