football

Gary Rowett expects Jack Butland to start Championship season at Stoke City


Gary Rowett has said he expects Jack Butland to remain at Stoke City beyond next Thursday’s summer transfer deadline and insists staying in the Championship will not damage the England goalkeeper’s international hopes.

Stoke have not received an offer that meets their valuation of the 25-year-old, with Rowett confident Butland will remain Stoke’s No 1 this season. However, if Chelsea were to sell Thibaut Courtois, and there is concrete interest in the Belgian from Real Madrid, Stoke would brace themselves for a bid for the former Birmingham City goalkeeper who has won eight caps for his country.

“He’s our player and if he plays in the Championship with us, which we fully expect him to do, I don’t see how that will impinge on his international ambitions,” said Rowett, who joined Stoke from Derby County this summer.

“We haven’t had an offer which the club feel is financially viable – or I don’t think any strong offer yet. Jack has never made any real moves to want to leave. I expect him to stay, I hope he stays. I’m also pragmatic enough to know it’s football and anything can happen in the last few days of the window.

“I imagine he would be the type of player who some teams would covet. I’m a realist but I hope he’s still here. We have no real pressure to sell anyone, the owners are prepared to back it.”



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