Liverpool have suffered a blow in any chance of signing Stoke City’s Jack Butland after the goalkeeper rejected speculation linking him with a move to Anfield.
The Reds manager Jurgen Klopp was believed to be plotting a move for the England international, according to The Sun. He wanted to bring Butland to the Merseyside club in order to replace Simon Mignolet as the first choice goalkeeper at the club.
Butland hinted that he will leave his current employers in the future after publicly admitting that he dreams of playing for a top club. He also suggested that he is flattered by the recent reports linking him with a move to Liverpool, but played down any possibility of joining the Reds.
“It has always been a target of mine. I do want to play at the top. But at the minute, I can’t fault where I am. I am in a brilliant squad who are playing extremely well and things are looking bright for the club,” Butland told Sky Sports.
“Right now I can’t see any better place for me to be. I am learning every week and I am playing with some great players. The goalie coach I am really happy with and learning a lot from the staff as well.
“Personally, I am very comfortable and very happy where I am. I believe that we can do some really good things at Stoke so that is where my whole focus is at the minute.
“Anything beyond that is purely speculation and rumours. It is obviously wonderful to be linked with a club with the history of Liverpool. But this is where I am. I am still really proud of the team for the performance at the weekend and it is something I am really proud of being a part of.”
The Mirror also reported Liverpool’s derby rivals Everton are also in the mix to sign Butland. Stoke manager Mark Hughes had earlier played down suggestion of any potential exit from the Britannia Stadium after admitting Stoke will help him develop in his career.
“Jack’s going nowhere. He’s progressing well but he’s very early into his career development as a number one keeper. People are aware of him – and they have been for a long time,” Hughes explained.
“Jack forced his way into the England squad when he was 19 but he needs a season-in-season-out of week-in-week-out in the Premier League. He’s had a great career progression, every step he’s taken he’s dealt with.”