Aston Villa are expected to make a bid for Stoke City goalkeeper Jack Butland this week, according to the Birmingham Mail‘s Gregg Evans on Twitter.
The England goalkeeper spent the 2018/19 season in the Championship, which surprised many, considering his pedigree.
Butland will be keen to return to the Premier League, however, and Villa are looking increasingly like a potential next destination.
Dean Smith will be looking to improve his squad as Villa prepare for their top flight return, following their Championship playoff heroics.
Jed Steer and Orjan Nyland both played in goal for Smith’s side last season, but an upgrade is arguably required.
Butland fits the bills, and with regards to the move, Evans said:
Aston Villa are in for Jack Butland. Stoke want big money but #avfc will test their resolve. Expecting a bid this week.
Butland would be an exciting signing, considering he is still only 26 years of age.
He hasn’t kicked on as much as some would have hoped – he was predicted by many to become first choice for England – but a fresh challenge at Villa could be just what he needs.
5 of Aston Villa's greatest goalkeepers
An Aston Villa legend, Spink spent 19 years at the club, playing 460 times.
He famously came on early in the 1982 European Cup final, helping Villa win 1-0.
Friedel is one of the best goalkeepers of the Premier League era.
He spent three years at Villa Park between 2008 and 2011, proving to be an ever-present in the league in that time.
A popular, controversial figure during the 1990s, Bosnich was also a top class goalkeeper in his prime.
The Australian’s influence at Villa will always be appreciated by supporters and he won the League Cup twice, in 1994 and 1996.
Given is another great modern goalkeeper, having starred for Newcastle United and the Republic of Ireland at his peak.
In truth, he wasn’t quite the same player when he joined Villa in 2011, replacing Friedel, but there were still moments of quality.
One of the best goalkeepers in the history of the game, Schmeichel spent the twilight of his career at Villa.
He wasn’t quite the same player who had helped transform Manchester United, but he made 36 appearances in 2001/02, even scoring away to Everton.