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Soccer Premier League

Who Wants Jack Butland?

Birmingham’s Jack Butland is the target of great interest during the January transfer season.
Photo by Yorkvisionphotography/flickr

It seems like everybody in the Premier League has been interested in Birmingham goalkeeper Jack Butland. So far six league clubs have reportedly expressed interest in the 19-year-old English international.

The Daily Star newspaper of London reported that Arsenal, Liverpool, Everton, Manchester United, Fulham and Southampton have inquired about Butland. Southampton attempted to get the 6-foot-5 Butland during the summer, but a £6 million ($9.5 million) offer was rejected.

The situation has changed, however, as Birmingham is experiencing financial difficulties which could see it go into bankruptcy. As Birmingham sits just outside the relegation zone of the Championship, a 10-point deduction for entering administration likely would mean relegation to League One.

“Give me a £15m offer for Jack Butland, can I say no?” said club chairman Peter Pannu to The Independent newspaper of London in late December. “I have rejected £6m from Southampton (in the summer) but I rejected it when finances were OK. I might not be able to reject it if I get something similar. I do have a responsibility to keep the club running.”

Fulham is reportedly the favorite to secure Butland. The contract of its current No. 1 keeper, Mark Schwarzer, will expire during the summer. For some of the other clubs, Butland likely would become a No. 2 keeper, which might not be best for someone who is a qualified challenger to Joe Hart for England’s top keeper. Butland played in two matches for Team GB during the Olympics and one international for England during 2012.