The one signing Liverpool should make... Even if they don't need him now

Liverpool should act now to secure highly rated Jack Butland or risk him going to another Premier League club.

It isn't very often an England international goalkeeper goes on the transfer market, there are so few of them.

With Jack Butland just 19, he is a real sought after target, and looks set to move on this month.

In the summer he represented the Great Britain Olympic team, and was impressive - but he had only played competitive football in League Two on loan at Cheltenham, so clubs were within their rights to think twice about Birmingham's £10 million asking price.

Now with the club's financial situation perilous, and them rooted in 20th in the Championship, they have conceded they need to sell, and are unlikely to get the figure they want either.

After rejecting a £6 million bid from Southampton in the summer, The Mirror report Birmingham are willing to accept as little as £3.5 million for the goalkeeper.

That is a bargain simply too good to refuse. Butland is only 19, and not the finished article just yet, but has bags of potential and is available for exactly one tenth of the price Liverpool paid for Andy Carroll two January's ago.

With international football under his belt already, along with this season's efforts in the Championship, it is clear there will be a Premier League team willing to take a punt on him at that price, and this week is the time to do it.

Fulham, Everton, Manchester City, Newcastle and even Arsenal have been linked with him, but the move which makes most sense to us is a switch to Liverpool.

Pepe Reina has been the established number one at Liverpool since 2005, but this season could be his last. 

Not only is the goalkeeper reported to be after a return to Spain - His father has been speaking about him potentially returning as a replacement for Victor Valdes at Barcelona - but his form this season has dipped too. With Rodgers looking towards a new era at Anfield, Butland can be a cornerstone of that.

Liverpool will be searching for a long-term successor for him if he was to move on, with neither Brad Jones nor Alexander Doni fitting the bill.

Jack Butland does, he is young, talented, and English; he ticks all three boxes for the Reds, and fits into the whole philosophy Brendan Rodgers is trying to achieve, of a developing squad who can work together and learn from each other on their way to the top.

He has already played alongside fellow newboy Daniel Sturridge at the Olympics, and will know Steven Gerrard and Glen Johnson from the England set up.

The issue is, Liverpool don't need him right now, but given his availability, they should sign him anyway.

If Butland signs for a mid-ranking club like Fulham, the chances are he will be up for transfer in a few years, for £15-20 million, and Liverpool will have missed their chance to sign him on the cheap. Just ask Sir Alex Ferguson who passed on Joe Hart years ago when he was in the lower leagues and could have been snapped up for £500,000.

Pepe Reina deserves to see the season out, before he is moved on, as a terrific servant to the club. There is talk of Victor Valdes coming to Anfield, but given Ian Ayre's recent comments on preferring not to sign 'superstars', Butland is a far more logical fit.

Liverpool should seal the deal for Butland now, bring him in as a number two to Reina so he can learn from the Spaniard between now and next season. Alternatively they could loan him back to Birmingham so he continues his development with more first team football ahead of next season.

It makes sense, so Brendan Rodgers, what are you waiting for?

Would you be happy with signing Butland? Should Liverpool sell Reina in the summer?

image: © joncandy

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