Stoke City chairman Peter Coates and manager Mark Hughes have warned off Jack Butland's suitors and made it clear the goalkeeper is not for sale at any price. The England international has garnered a lot of attention and praise for his consistent performances for the Britannia Stadium outfit this campaign.
According to the Sun, Liverpool are plotting a £20m ($30m) move for the 'keeper, as Jurgen Klopp looks for a replacement for Simon Mignolet, who has failed to impress the German manager. Butland is considered one of the best young stoppers in the Premier League and he has proven that a number of times this season with some spectacular saves. His showing in the English top flight has seen him capped three times by Roy Hodgson.
But the Stoke chief has made it clear Butland is not going anywhere and believes the 22-year-old will only get better with time. "We think Jack is the best young goalkeeper in the country and we can firmly state that selling him at any time soon is not on our agenda," Coates said, as quoted by the Daily Telegraph.
"We don't need the money and Jack has still only played 20 Premier League games for us. We want him to be playing for us this season and the next and we won't entertain any interest. He's shown everyone how good he is this season and he's playing every week at a club where he feels settled. He will only get better."
The former Birmingham City goalkeeper is set to start against Sheffield Wednesday in the quarter finals of the Capital One Cup on 2 December. He has been backed by his manager to become a top-quality Premier League keeper and believes the Britannia Stadium outfit are the best club for him to continue his development and nail down a permanent place in the Three Lions squad.
"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 said, as quoted by the Mirror.
"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. Now it's about consolidating himself in a very good Premier League team. That's the challenge for him."