Dean Smith now faces interesting dilemma between Butland and Etheridge

Dean Smith the manager

Aston Villa are looking to spend on a new goalkeeper this summer.

Dean Smith the manager

Aston Villa saw Jed Steer impress in the final stages of the season, but with Lovre Kalinic struggling since his January arrival, a new goalkeeper is likely to arrive.

Steer may not quite be at the level Villa need in the Premier League, and they've subsequently been linked with a number of shot-stoppers in recent days.

Last week, Wales Online noted that Villa have offered £8million for Cardiff City goalkeeper Neil Etheridge following their promotion, but their bid was rejected.


Now, The Sun believe that Villa are offering £20million for Stoke City stopper Jack Butland, just £3million short of what the Championship club want for him.

This situation presents Dean Smith and co with a major dilemma, especially given his relationship with Etheridge from their days together at Walsall.

Etheridge was given a chance by Smith and impressed in the Premier League last season, offering a proven option between the sticks that Smith and goalkeeping coach Neil Cutler know well.

Stoke goalkeeper Jack Butland catches the ball above Ryan Shawcross of Stoke during the Sky Bet Championship match between Stoke City and Sheffield United at the Bet365 Stadium on May 5,...

Butland may be a better goalkeeper, but will cost considerably more, and Smith must decide whether to go with the goalkeeper he knows so well, or push the boat out to bring in a bigger name.

That's an intriguing decision to make, and it would be little surprise to see Butland emerge as the top target – even if Smith and Cutler are such huge fans of 29-year-old Etheridge.

Neil Etheridge of Cardiff City  during the Premier League match between Fulham FC and Cardiff City at Craven Cottage on April 27, 2019 in London, United Kingdom.

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