Date: 17th May 2017 at 1:11pm
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Jack Butland has only recently returned from a long-term injury but Stoke’s keeper is already being linked with an end-of-season move to Arsenal or Manchester City.

Butland made his first appearance for Stoke in 13 months when he started against Swansea on 22nd April, he’s managed to keep his place in the Potters goal ahead of previous no.1 Lee Grant since.

Now playing again Butland said it is his intention to continue the hard work as he battles back to absolute full fitness and this focus is on doing that at Stoke, where he’s under contract until 2021.

When quoted by the Stoke Sentinel, Butland, 24, did say these transfer rumours are a ‘really positive thing’ but he stressed he’s happy at Stoke.

He said: I see it as a really positive thing. It is nice to be recognised, I must be doing something right. But I also have to remember I have been out for a year now and I just need to get back to doing what I love doing and the rest will take care of itself. For me, it’s just about being fit again, being able to train and play. Ultimately I am contracted to Stoke. I am really happy here and I am driven to succeed as well as I can do here.’

Grant has been in fine form since his arrival from Derby in August, initially on loan before a permanent transfer was secured in January. This, from a player who hadn’t played in the Premier League during his long career before this, means Grant, 34, deserves all the plaudits he receives.

In fact Butland revealed he went for his fellow keeper when voting in Stoke’s Players’ Player of the Year.

‘I did because I think he deserves it. I think he has been our most consistent player this year. That’s great credit to him, after he came in without having played Premier League football before. He has come in, albeit to begin with on a temporary basis, and has quite rightly earned a permanent contract and done extremely well. So, he was my pick for player of the year.’

As good as he is I think it’ll be surprising if Arsenal, Manchester City or any club did actually approach Butland this summer? Having been troubled by his ankle injury for so long I’d be confident enough Stoke will get another season out of the England keeper, at least.

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