Arsenal are prepared to offer stiff competition to league rivals Liverpool in the pursuit of Stoke City’s highly-rated goalkeeper Jack Butland.
The England international has been a good signing for the Potters, barring his injury concerns, and he is being widely tipped to replace Joe Hart in goal for this summer’s World Cup finals in Russia.
According to The Sun, manager Arsene Wenger is looking into a potential replacement for Petr Cech, who is unlikely to earn a fresh extension beyond the summer of 2019.
The 35-year-old has been prone to making errors during the course of the current campaign and though he was the Gunners’ standout performer versus Spurs, he nearly gifted Dele Alli a goal in the second period.
Butland has kept clean sheets in nearly one-third of his games in his Stoke career, and this stands as a reasonable record, considering the club have possessed the worst backline in the division this term.
The 24-year-old is said to be valued at around £40m for the summer market, and his availability is likely to also attract interest from Liverpool with Jurgen Klopp eyeing a new number one to replace the inconsistent pair of Loris Karius and Simon Mignolet.
Both Liverpool and Arsenal are capable of matching such a valuation at the end of the campaign, but Arsene Wenger’s side could be hurt by the lack of Champions League football which may affect their pursuit.
The Gunners are currently seven points off the top-four which could be extended further by Chelsea’s potential victory over West Brom tonight, and they may have to win Europa League altogether in order to return to the elite competition.
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