England goalkeeper Jack Butland has revealed the difficult situation he encountered explaining the reasons for turning down a move to Chelsea in favour of Stoke City to his international teammates.
Butland was a target for The Blues in January transfer window having shown decent potential while at Birmingham City, with manager Lee Clarke tipping the stopper to become one of Europe's best keepers, but instead sealed a deadline day deal to move to the Potters, subsequently returning to St Andrews on loan until the end of the season.
And upon reporting for England duty for the friendly with Brazil last week, the 19 year old admitted he had to explain himself to the Chelsea players whom he rejected joining.
"I had a bit of an awkward situation as a couple of the Chelsea players were asking me what the situation was," he told the Daily Mirror.
"They were completely understanding with what I said, and that was that Chelsea are a fantastic club and I would have loved to have said 'yes' to them but I didn't feel they could guarantee me first-team football as early as I would like.
"I didn't feel it was the right move now so I simply said it wasn't for me, thank you, and maybe we can do something in the future."
The former Cheltenham Town loanee will join Stoke in the summer having returned to Birmingham to assist in the club's fight for survival in The Championship, where he'll continue to gather crucial experience ahead of his top flight bow.
Injuries meant Butland was one of only two goalkeepers selected in the England squad for the 2-1 win against Brazil at Wembley last Wednesday and the teenager admits he is benefitting from conversations with No.1 Joe Hart.
"We each know how hard it can be," he explained. "With any mistake anyone makes it's highlighted very quickly as a goalkeeper.
"Just being able to pick up the phone and speak to him [Hart] and get his opinion is very important.
"He's role model to try to follow."