It’s not exactly clear what has provoked it but according to Alan Nixon, Crystal Palace are interested in a summer move for Stoke City goalkeeper Jack Butland with Vicente Guaita potentially heading back to Spain.
Before we take this any further, it’s worth noting that Nixon is currently employed by The Sun, giving this story a high probability of being nothing more than a pack of lies but even so, his reputation prior to joining them, having worked with The Mirror for 22 years, means that the story warrants a level of examination in my eyes.
CRYSTAL PALACE. Want Jack Butland from STOKE in summer. Interest in Guaita in Spain and there's a likely vacancy.
— Alan Nixon (@reluctantnicko) March 3, 2019
Now 25, Butland remains on the books at Stoke following the Potters’ relegation from the Premier League last season and whilst his loyalty to them should be admired, their current placing in the Championship table (16th) suggests that top flight football will not be returning there from August onwards. With that in mind, Jack, as one of their most high-profile names, may be angling for a move to pastures new and according to Nixon, Palace are declaring an early interest in facilitating a deal.
It should be said that section of the tale relating to Vicente Guaita potentially moving back to Spain has come completely out of the blue, with the former Valencia and Getafe man seemingly extremely happy in SE25. The cynical side of me is moved to suggest that his absence from the starting XI against Burnley has conveniently played a part in Nixon spinning this particular yarn but that level of opportunism from Alan is something that most average punters will struggle to accept.
Whilst Butland hasn’t been bad by any stretch of the imagination this term, he was impressive when getting a clean sheet against Nottingham Forest this Saturday just gone, it’s difficult to know if he’s a long-term answer for Palace as they continue to search for a man capable of following in club legend Julian Speroni’s footsteps.
How much would Stoke demand in order to part with Butland this summer? My guess would be a figure in excess of £10 million. Would you be happy with the club spending that? Is the talk of Guaita jumping ship even genuine? There are so many questions and at this stage, very few obvious answers.