Bad news for Arsenal as Liverpool close in on Butland

According to the Mirror, Stoke City goalkeeper Jack Butland is set to reject Arsenal in favour of a move to Liverpool this summer.

The 25-year-old is nearing a record-breaking £40m move to Anfield, which would surpass the fees paid for Ederson (Benfica to Manchester City) and Jordan Pickford (Sunderland to Everton).

It’s a blow for Arsenal as Arsene Wenger was eyeing up the English international as a long-term replacement for Peter Cech but will now have to look elsewhere.

Butland has endured a difficult campaign with Stoke City. The 25-year-old, who joined the Potters from Birmingham City in 2013, has conceded 47 goals in 26 Premier League games.

City are currently 19th in the division, one point adrift of safety, without a win in their last five. Butland has managed just five clean sheets for his troubles and could seek a move away from the Britannia Stadium if Stoke suffered relegation.

Liverpool were previously looking at AS Roma shot-stopper Alisson, but Butland’s top-flight experience has edged him ahead of the Brazilian in their mind. Cech will turn 36 in May and out of contract in 18 months, so Arsenal need to identify a player who can replace him in 2019.

Butland may be too expensive for their tastes.

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Crippy can be found on Twitter (@CrippyCooke). He is a sports journalist who has written for the Independent, Bleacher Report, Huffington Post, Daily Mail and Daily Telegraph among others. Crippy treats football gossip with a dash of cynicism and loves tearing apart outlandish rumours.

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