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Chelsea are preparing a £3m move for Birmingham City stopper Jack Butland during the January transfer window, according to the Mirror. The 19-year-old Bristol born goalkeeper has been impressive for the Championship side and has been linked with a move to Liverpool this month.
The report suggests the European champions are looking to sign the young England international and send him on loan so he gets regular playing time. The Blues have the services of Czech and Belgian internationals Petr Cech and Thibaut Courtois for now, although the latter is presently on loan to Spanish side Atletico Madrid and is due back at the end of the season.
Meanwhile, Birmingham are facing financial turmoil and the club is looking to sell players in order to raise funds. Manager Lee Clark has admitted the club could be forced to sell Butland before the end of the January transfer window.
The player's agent, Gary Mellor, has been quoted as suggesting the St Andrew's club should consider lowering the £5m asking price for his client. He explained: "...if they are looking to solve all their financial woes with the Jack deal then it's going to be more difficult."
Should the report be true, it could be a major blow for Courtois. The 20-year-old Belgian is widely regarded as one of the best prospects in his position and has impressed during his loan at the Vicente Calderon.
Courtois has been quoted as saying that if a future at Stamford Bridge was not possible he would prefer to remain with Atletico. The youngster is to hold talks with Chelsea regarding his options and has also been linked to Barcelona, as cover for contract rebel Victor Valdes.