Date: 23rd June 2017 at 9:02am
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Stoke have invested plenty in Jack Butland, helping the England international goalkeeper through his year-long injury nightmare, so the Potters wouldn’t let him leave without a fight.

Contact wise Butland is tied down to a long-term deal at the Bet365 Stadium. However, he’s consistently linked with Chelsea, Manchester City, Manchester United and above all else Arsenal.

And the Gunners are the club determined to secure Butland, as our friends at Vital Arsenal inform us:

According to the Bleacher Report, despite the Arsene Wenger protestations to the contrary, very much the Wenger way really, Jordan Pickford was an Arsenal target before he joined Everton in a club record deal this month, netting Sunderland up to £30m.

Now, having missed out on one England goalkeeper, Arsenal have shifted priorities onto another as Stoke’s Jack Butland is now lined up as one of the Gunners’ priority transfers, becoming Petr Cech’s long-term replacement.

In the closing stages of his career, Cech, 35, is still under contract for another two years but Arsenal are making plans, quite rightly, for his eventual long-term successor, which isn’t anticipated to come from the current stock.

Clarifying the contract situations of the likes of Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez is seen as the immediate focus and then agreeing a deal with Lyon for Alexandre Lacazette, most if not all of these will be easier said than done.

Stoke aren’t under any pressure to sell, Butland only signed a new five and a half year deal last year, so hold all the aces, but these reports claim sources have made it clear Arsenal’s focus is centred on Butland, 24, and efforts to sign him will continue into next year if needed.

Pickford’s British record fee would almost certainly be smashed, but Arsenal would have competition from Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United, reports the Daily Star.

Used courtesy of Vital Arsenal.

There are very few clubs in the Premier League who wouldn’t want Butland in their squad but Stoke can offer him the near assured first team football his career needs.

Admittedly, chances are he would get this at Arsenal; he should as he’s good enough. But given the commitment Stoke showed to Butland, coupled with the fact the keeper still has plenty of years on him deal, you would hope some loyalty is shown for the foreseeable future, from all parties.

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