Wayne Rooney wants Birmingham City to sign Jack Butland from Rangers, according to a report about the former Manchester United goalkeeper.
Butland spent the second half of last season on loan at Man Utd from Crystal Palace, but never got the chance to make his debut for the Red Devils. In the summer, he signed for Rangers on a free transfer, although his future has already come into question again.
According to The Sun, Butland has become a target for Birmingham, where he started his senior career in the 2012-13 season. New Blues manager Rooney has chosen his former England teammate as his first target since his appointment.
The interest poses an immediate headache to new Rangers manager Philippe Clement, who has succeeded Michael Beale – the man who was in charge when the Scottish Premiership side signed Butland – in the Ibrox hotseat.
Butland signed a contract until 2027 when joining Rangers and has made 16 appearances for the club so far, conceding 17 goals and keeping seven clean sheets.
However, he could have a decision to make earlier than expected if Rooney pushes through Birmingham’s interest. According to the report, he has wondered about his future since Beale’s exit.
Nevertheless, Birmingham might not be able to sign him in January, despite Rooney wanting a new keeper and making him his top target.
The Championship outfit may prefer to wait until the summer, when they will be able to release some big earners from their squad, rather than having to raise funds for a January bid.
Butland to replace Ruddy and Etheridge
Currently, the 36-year-old John Ruddy has been the starting goalkeeper this season for Birmingham, who also have 33-year-old Neil Etheridge on the books but would be open to offloading him.
Butland would be a slightly younger successor at the age of 30 and could get the chance to add to his previous 46 appearances for the West Midlands club. With that in mind, the move might appeal to the former Stoke City shot-stopper.
As stated, though, it will depend on what Birmingham can afford to do in the January transfer window and may end up being a deal to delay until the summer, depending on Rangers’ demands.