Wenger adds Brum keeper to growing shopping list
Published 22:29 17/03/12 By Steve Stammers
Arsene Wenger has added Birmingham’s brilliant goalie Jack Butland to his wanted list.
The 19-year-old - currently on loan at Cheltenham - has been the subject of rave reports from Arsenal scouts.
He has represented England at every level up to Under-21 level.
Birmingham would love to keep Butland but are in urgent need of an injection of finance. Arsenal are set to pay £1million as a downpayment and that fee could raise to £5m depending on appearances.
His arrival would put a question mark against the future of Lucasz Fabianski as the deputy to Wojtek Szczesny and he could return to his native Poland.
Wenger’s scouts have told Wenger that Butland would not only be a natural successor to Szczesny but has shown enough to provide live competition.
Tottenham have also tracked Butland. Number one Brad Friedel is now 40-plus and Butland could provide a long-term answer.
Butland is added to a quartet that Wenger would like to bring straight into the first team squad.
Mario Gotze ( Dortmund), Lukas Podolski ( Cologne), Jan Vertonghen ( Ajax) and Javier Martinez ( Athletic Bilbao) are targets for Arsenal this summer as they try to show captain Robin van Persie that their ambition matches his own.
Van Persie has one year left on his contract at the end of this season. Arsenal hope that the offer of £150,000 a week plus the arrival of proven talent will persude the Dutch striker to extend his stay at The Emirates.