Derby County evaluating extension of Butland loan deal

Jack Butland’s loan deal with Derby County is set to expire this week, and the club will monitor Lee Grant before deciding whether to extend the deal.

The 21-year-old stopper has been in remarkable form in the six appearances registered since completing the switch to the Championship five weeks ago.

The Rams have won all but one of the games the Stoke City ‘keeper has played in, and he was vital in Derby clinching a 2-1 victory over promotion rivals Watford at the weekend, committing a number of top class saves to the Midlands club move three points clear atop the Championship table.

Brought in as cover for injured first-choice Lee Grant, Butland was due to return to the Potteries last week, but head coach Steve McClaren extended his loan for the trip to Watford with Grant still off match fitness. He is now set to return to Stoke this week, but the club are pondering whether to offer the former Birmingham man - who has also enjoyed spells with Barnsley and Leeds United - a further extension to his deal.

However, any likely deal will be down to the recovery of Grant, who is touted to be available for Saturday’s tie with Leeds at Elland Road. An ankle injury has kept him out of action since early October, but McClaren confirmed that the club are assessing him every day to make sure he is not rushed back to competitive action.

Speaking to the Burton Mail, McClaren said: “We're assessing Granty every day and seeing how he comes through.

“Jack has been a blessing for us after finding out we were going to lose a top keeper like Granty for five or six weeks. We are very fortunate to have got Jack.”

The former England boss is set to monitor the situation this coming week, and could be looking to extend Butland’s deal for another week to cover any small injury problems that Grant may take into the game with him.

He added: “We will monitor the situation on a daily basis and try not to rush things.”

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