Reports: Liverpool close in on Premier League goalkeeper
What’s the rumour?
As per reports from The Mirror, Liverpool are closing in on a move for Jack Butland. The Stoke City keeper is the first name on Klopp's wish list this summer as he reportedly wants an upgrade on their current options.
In case you didn’t know...
Butland, a graduate of Birmingham City's academy, was signed by Stoke City on winter transfer window's deadline day in 2013. He struggled to replace Asmir Begovic and Thomas Sorensen and was sent out on loan to Barnsley, Leeds and Derby County.
Following Begovic's move to Chelsea, Butland became the no.1 choice at Stoke. The keeper produced a string of brilliant performances to cement his position.
Butland was also called up to the England national team's squad to replace an injured Joe Hart in 2012. He seems to be the no.1 contender to start for England in the 2018 FIFA World Cup as well.
The heart of the matter
For all their attacking exploits this season, Klopp has come under constant criticism for below average performances from his defenders and goalkeepers. He fixed a part of it by paying a world record £75 million for Southampton's Vigil Van Dijk.
And although there is an improvement, the keeper's position is still a question mark. Simon Mignolet has been very shaky and Loris Karius has not yet managed to find his feet despite some good form of late. This is the key area Klopp should fix if he wants to challenge for the title next season.
And, as a result, he wants Butland to be his first choice keeper next season. The player is under contract until June 2021 and it will reportedly take a figure of around £40 million to land him, which will break the transfer record fee for a goalkeeper, as per the same report.
Rumour rating/probability - 8/10
Almost every tabloid in England is reporting the same. Liverpool desperately need a consistent goalkeeper and it is almost certain that Klopp will buy one this summer.
Video: Butland in 2017
There is every chance that Stoke City will allow Butland to leave if a substantial offer comes in. Butland will be a good buy for the Reds and will make their defensive unit more stable and difficult to break down. Certainly an upgrade they need to make if they want to realistically challenge for the title next season.