Coach confident £50,000-a-week Chelsea target will remain at EPL rivals

Stoke City manager Gary Rowett has said that he expects Premier League giants Chelsea target Jack Butland to stay at the club this transfer market.

Chelsea have been connected with Butland as they plan for life after Belgian star Thibaut Courtois, who is expected to sign for La Liga giants Real Madrid.

Courtois has 12 months left on his current contract and has been unable to negotiate a fresh deal at Stamford Bridge.

This has left the Blues’ management with the task of finding a new No.1 and Butland’s name has cropped up several times.

The England international has impressed for Stoke City in recent seasons, in spite of their relegation to the Championship this year.

Speaking to The Mirror, Rowett said this: “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.”

Chelsea have also been connected with Everton shot-stopper Jordan Pickford, who was stunning at the World Cup for England.

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