The Sun understands that Stoke City goalkeeper Jack Butland is on Chelsea’s radar as they begin to plan for life without Thibaut Courtois, who continues to be heavily linked with a switch to Spanish giants and UEFA Champions League holders Real Madrid.
Butland’s fellow England international Jordan Pickford, of Everton, is another that Chelsea are considering to potentially go between the sticks as well. 25-year-old Butland failed to play any minute of this summer’s World Cup in Russia, with Pickford playing every minute of every game. Courtois is not committing himself to a new deal at Stamford Bridge, so the Blues are starting to make contingency plans.
Whilst Chelsea are said to be open to the prospect of Courtois remaining for the final year of his contract, which expires at the end of the upcoming campaign, a sale is not ruled out either. Real Madrid are under new management themselves, and with Cristiano Ronaldo departing for Juventus, they will be looking to make some eye-catching recruits.
Butland could possibly be classed as a more attractive proposition for Maurizio Sarri’s side as he would cost a lot less than £60million-rated Pickford. Given that Stoke suffered a relegation last season, the Premier League club could sign up him for more like £20million. They want another keeper to don the gloves long term, just as Petr Cech did prior to his move to Arsenal. Butland has made over 80 appearances for Stoke since making the switch from Birmingham City for around £4million back in 2013.