Stoke City and England goalkeeper Jack Butland is looking increasingly like a top target for AFC Bournemouth this summer.
Saturday’s team selection by Cherries manager Eddie Howe was the clearest indication yet that Asmir Begovic was no longer in the thinking of Howe.
Begovic was completely dropped from the squad with 19-year-old Mark Travers handed his debut against Tottenham Hotspur with Artur Boruc on the bench.
The Daily Mail recently suggested that Stoke’s Jack Butland had edged ahead of Burnley’s Nick Pope in Eddie Howe’s thinking.
One train of thought behind that decision could be that Asmir Begovic could return to his former club as part of any summer deal.
Begovic has two years remaining on his current deal at Dean Court and is reportedly “one of Bournemouth’s highest earners”. AFC Bournemouth could well have to subsidise Begovic’s wages as part of any transfer fee for Butland, to get the deal across the line.
As for Butland, the 26-year-old has made it clear that despite the sentimental attachment to Stoke City, he would look to leave Stoke if a Premier League club showed interest.
Speaking to the Stoke Sentinel, Butland said…
“…I’ve always said my desire to play in the Premier League has always been there and I wanted to get up with Stoke.
“It hasn’t happened and I don’t know what is going to happen in the summer.
“I’ve always given everything, regardless, and if I’m still here I’ll do exactly the same again.”
“Another Premier League club would be the only reason to part ways…
I don’t think Butland will want to go anywhere to sit on the bench and the top six all have keepers pretty much in situ. The only one that may move is De Gea but if he does, Manchester United will go big with a proven world class keeper to replace him, not take someone from the Championship.
With those doors closed, you look down the table a bit. Everton have spent big on Jordan Pickford and I think he’s going to be number 1 there for a while yet. Leicester have the door destroyer (Kasper Schmeichel) very well set and I can’t see him moving on either. Burnley have more keepers than they know what to do with. Patricio at Wolves won’t be replaced. And so on.
When you remove the clubs that have settled keepers, the field of potential moves if he wants a Premier League club where he would go straight in as number one is actually quite thin.
AFC Bournemouth and Crystal Palace but not too sure who else. If I’m honest, I can’t see us not being in the serious running if he’s going to take the plunge to a mid-table Premier League first-team spot. – Join the conversation, click here.