Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has set his sight on Stoke City goalkeeper Jack Butland, according to reports. Following the £142m sale of Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona, Liverpool have funds to strengthen the team in other positions.
The Reds are said to be ready to upgrade their goalkeeping corps in the summer, as Jurgen Klopp looks for alternatives to Simon Mignolet and Loris Karius.
Mignolet and Karius are both competent enough, but if the Merseysiders are to go to that next level, a far superior replacement is called for. This is according to Bleacher Report, Butland is their chief target and Klopp is expected to move for the shot-stopper in the summer.
The England international is said to have huge ambition for his career path and Stoke would struggle to hold on to him should the Reds come calling with a decent bid. The Reds feel that Butland has plenty of time to improve further under Klopp.
While the likes of Leicester’s Kasper Schmeichel and AS Roma’s Allison have been linked, the report adds that Butland is a standout candidate.
A new goalkeeper would solve Klopp’s defensive conundrum completely after the club announced the £75m signing of Southampton centre-half Virgil van Dijk earlier this month.
Butland is one of the most highly-rated shot-stoppers in the Premier League and is already a full England international.
The 24-year-old has long been picked out as a potential successor to Joe Hart in the England squad. Only injuries have hindered his progress for club and country over the last year with the Stoke goalkeeper having often impressed in an England shirt when granted the opportunity to play by Roy Hodgson and Gareth Southgate.
Football.London understands that he is eager to join the Reds as the next piece of Klopp’s puzzle following the world record signing of Van Dijk from Southampton.
So far for Stoke, Butland has impressed since securing a move from Championship side Birmingham City in the summer of 2013. The player has also managed to make six appearances for the England national team as well and is expected to add to his number of caps in the future.
Klopp wants to invest in a new shot-stopper but is prepared to wait as he plans ahead for the 2018/19 campaign. Should the Reds end up moving for Butland in the near future, it’ll be interesting to see what kind of transfer fee the promising goalkeeper ends up commanding.