Stoke City have reportedly discouraged Arsenal away from making any move for Jack Butland this summer.
The Gunners are scouring the globe for a long-term successor for Petr Cech, who at 35 cannot go on forever.
Although the Gunners are yet to make an official approach for Butland, the Stoke hierarchy are well aware of their reported interest and the Stoke Sentinel claims the club have no plans to part company with the keeper this summer.
The Stoke boss, despite the reliable presence of Lee Grant, wants Butland to build on his promising comeback from a long-term ankle injury after seeing him play the last five games of last season before forcing his way back into the England squad.
The paper claims the club are also well aware of the market value placed on the world’s top goalkeepers, given Jordan Pickford’s £30million move to Everton this summer; that’s in addition to the reported €100m valuation AC Milan have on their teenage star Gianluigi Donnarumma.
It’s claimed the Stoke hierarchy believe any sale of Butland now would be dwarfed by his potential value in 12 months time if the keeper stays injury-free for the season.
In addition, Stoke boss Mark Hughes and chief executive Tony Scholes are firmly in the belief that Butland has every chance of becoming England’s No 1 ahead of next year’s World Cup in Russia – which again could see his value soar.
The paper adds that Stoke might ‘then have a decision to make’ on the timing of any sale as an impressive World Cup finals would bump up his value even more and shape the club’s entire transfer strategy next summer.