By Graham Hill
VILLA target Jack Butland looks set to start the new season at Stoke City with boss Nathan Jones insisting the Potters will not back down on their £20 valuation of the England keeper.
And the hold up can be traced all the way back to Birmingham City.
Butland has been a clear target for Villa boss Dean Smith all summer.
And Villa’s chances of signing him looked good even tough Crystal Palace and Bournemouth were also interested.
Butland wants to come back to the Premier League – and he knows that would enhance his chances of holding down a place in the England squad.
Plus, a move to the Midlands would suit him. Butland is based in Cheshire – handy for Stoke – and going to Villa would mean little by way of upheaval.
There is just one sticking point – Stoke are refusing to sell for anything less than £20million.
Remember – when Blues sold Butland to Stoke over six years ago they wisely inserted a sell-on clause entitling them to 20 per cent of any profit when the up and coming keeper was moved on again.
Stoke paid just £3.5million for Butland in 2013 – a £20million-plus deal now would represent around £17-18million profit for the Potters.
That could see Blues collect a handy £3.5million windfall, maybe more – leaving Stoke effectively selling Butland for around £17million. And it explains why Stoke will not budge on the asking price.
But Blues have just broken their own transfer record – so perhaps they are expecting some money from a Butland move!
It will be an incredibly frustrating time for Butland, 26, who had to wait for his first team chance at Stoke when Asmir Begovic kept him out of the side.
But Stoke boss Jones told Talksport2 that he does not see Butland leaving before the start of the Championship season next week – but the transfer window still has five days to run after that.
Jones said: “Unless we get an offer meeting our valuation, and to be honest I doubt we will now, Jack Butland will be lining up against QPR.”