Peter Coates insists Jack Butland is not for sale, and hopes to see the England international keep goal for Stoke City for many years to come.
The 24-year-old has been regarded as one of the best goalkeepers in the country for the past few years, since progressing through the youth system at Birmingham City. Having left the Blues for Stoke in 2013 he has gone on to make 52 appearances in all competitions for the club, as well as featuring for Barnsley, Leeds United, Derby County and his former club during loan spells.
Butland spent most of last season on the sidelines with an ankle injury, but returned for the last five matches in which he kept two clean sheets. Although he remains under contract at the Britannia Stadium for another four years, he is often mentioned in the speculation pages when the top teams are linked with new shot-stoppers – but Coates has assured Stoke fans not to worry.
“We don’t have the slightest intention of selling him. We want him to be playing for Stoke City for many years to come,” Coates said. “In the last full season he had he looked the most promising young goalkeeper in England. The fact that England recalled him to the national squad at the first available opportunity suggests he also has a bright future ahead of him on that front too.”
Butland is one of four goalkeepers Gareth Southgate has included in his England squad for the World Cup qualifier against Scotland on Saturday evening, and the international friendly in France three days later. Joe Hart, of Manchester City, is expected to be given the nod to start, with Fraser Forster of Southampton and Burnley’s Tom Heaton the others amongst the 25-man pool.