Liverpool are intensifying efforts to sign Birmingham City goal keeper Jack Butland in January, according to a Goal.com report. The 19 year old has been tipped to have a big future in the game and was even selected for the summer's European Championships, as back-up to England No 1 Joe Hart. The teenager eventually made his senior team debut in the August friendly against Italy.
It is believed Butland will slot in as an immediate replacement for the Reds' present No 1, Spanish international Pepe Reina. The 30 year old Madrid-born shot stopper is contracted to the club until 2016 but another Goal.com report states Arsenal are interested in his services, to provide competition to Polish goal keeper Wojciech Szczesny. Arsene Wenger's side will reportedly bid £8m for his services in January. The other players on the Gunners' short list are believed to be Michel Vorm of Swansea City and Thomas Sorensen from Stoke City.
Rodgers is believed to have a long-standing interest in the Championship star, with summer reports from the Mirror stating the Northern Irishman would bid up to £7.5m to sign his man. He is likely to have a fight on his hands though.
Butland attracted interest from quite a few clubs in the summer, including newly promoted Southampton. The Telegraph reported the St Andrew's club rejected a £6m bid in the summer and also said nothing less than £10m would persuade them to enter negotiations.
Premier League champions Manchester City were also interested and a Daily Mail report suggested the potential signing would be part of a long-term project to build a strong core of senior England internationals at the Etihad.
Glen Johnson Wants More from Liverpool
Meanwhile, another England international, right back Glen Johnson, has called on the Reds to continue their push up the Premier League table. Liverpool started the season in miserable form. It took Steven Gerrard and co. six games to register a first league win of the season (at Carrow Road).
However, the club have now won three games on the trot, across all competitions and Johnson has added his voice to words from captain Gerrard and Rodgers, in calling for sustained effort.
"We've probably played a lot better than our points total suggests this season, but it's great to now have two wins on the bounce. We've got a week now to prepare for the next game, and we have a couple of home games to come, so we can really try and push on and climb up the league," the defender said.