Jack Butland

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Transfer Rumor Roundup: Bayern offer big for Sane; Ozil out at Arsenal

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With a small matter of the UEFA Champions League final happening Saturday in Madrid, let us pause for a brief moment and divert our attention to the latest rumblings out of the transfer rumor mill.

[ MORE: Win or lose UCL final, not much changes for Spurs ]

Bayern Munich’s pursuit of Manchester City winger Leroy Sane is real — very real, in fact — to the tune of $88 million, according to the Guardian. After the two-time reigning Premier League champions swiftly the seven-time reigning Bundesliga champions’ bid, they’re already pondering a second offer in short order.

Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge confirmed last week that Bayern would indeed be making an approach for Sane. “We will try. I can not promise whether it will succeed.”


According to Spanish newspaper AS, Bayern are expected to part ways with James Rodriguez this summer. Serie A side Napoli is one potential suitor, as it would facilitate a reunion with Carlo Ancelotti, who oversaw the most productive period of Rodriguez’s club career at Real Madrid.


Stoke City goalkeeper is a wanted man after spending a season in the EFL Championship, and a return to the PL looks a sure thing for the 26-year-old… only, it won’t be with the Potters. According to the Star, Crystal Palace and Bournemouth are set to enter the race for England’s no. 2. Stoke are seeking a fee of nearly $40 million, however.


Sergio Ramos appeared headed for the exit door following the end of Real Madrid’s disappointing season, but new/old manager Zinedine Zidane reportedly intervened and convinced Ramos that Madrid is still the right place for him. According to ESPN, Zidane helped to reduce the growing tension between player and president Florentino Perez, thus he is set to remain at the Santiago Bernabeu for at least one more season.


According to the Standard, Arsenal manager Unai Emery will allow Mesut Ozil to leave the club this summer… if anyone will take him and his $440,000-per-week wages off the Gunners’ books.


The Daily Mail is reporting that Leicester City midfielder James Maddison is one of Arsenal’s targets this summer, but they have told the asking price is $75 million for a player who just a year ago was playing in the Championship before moving to Leicester for $25 million.

Chelsea linked with several goalkeepers as Courtois decision looms

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Maurizio Sarri is being linked with a quartet of goalkeepers at Chelsea, whether Thibaut Courtois skips town or not.

Stoke’s Jack Butland is one name on the list, but the Potters want close to $40 million for their England national teamer. Sky says Leicester City and Crystal Palace would also like Butland, but Butland prefers a European contender.

[ MORE: PST chats with De Rossi ]

Sarri could also bring one of his old backstops from Serie A back to the Premier League in the form of Pepe Reina.

The former Liverpool backstop could cost $12 million, and would be eyed as insurance for a No. 1 keeper. Wily Caballero is Courtois’ current back-up.

Then there’s Marca, which claims Courtois’ move to Real Madrid would have the Blues working hard to get Kasper Schmeichel from Leicester or bring Petr Cech back from Arsenal.

Butland’s the clear top choice, but the beauty of Chelsea’s money is the ability to bring in two beautiful talents. Who should the Blues target?

Advanced stats site WhoScored has Butland’s season just ahead of Cech’s, with Schmeichel well behind. Reina’s season with Napoli was about the same as the Leicester man.

Butland blames Stoke relegation on “farcical” transfer dealings

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When things go wrong — spectacularly wrong in the case of Stoke City, who were relegated from the Premier League on Saturday — one question, above all others, is inevitable: “Where did it all go wrong?”

[ MORE: Wenger speaks, bids farewell to Emirates after final home game ]

Stoke goalkeeper Jack Butland, who left the bet365 Stadium field in tears, was asked this very question following Saturday’s 2-1 defeat to Crystal Palace, sealing the Potters’ place in the Championship next season, and he had some thoughts.

[ MORE: Guardiola jovial after Man City lift PL trophy ]

The 25-year-old prospective England no. 1, who will almost certainly leave Stoke for a PL club in the summer, held back very little in criticizing the club’s transfer and recruitment processes over the course of the last few seasons, and in turn essentially calling out his own teammates as not good enough for the club and the PL — quotes from Sky Sports:

“I think the whole recruitment process needs looking at. There have been transfers that aren’t even part of the squad for all kinds of reasons, whether it be discipline, whether it be lack of performance.

“You’ve got to look at that — what decisions are being made and the type of characters. Look at [January arrivals] Badou [Ndiaye] and Moritz Bauer — two positive signings. But you look at others and they’re not even here to have an input.”

“It’s not because they were playing at the top of their game, because if they were they’d be here.

“Too many of the recent investments and over the years are completely unused and that’s unacceptable. So before anyone is signed and any changes happen that’s got to be looked at because it’s been farcical, really.”

[ MORE: Klopp admits Champions League run taking toll on Liverpool ]

Kevin Wimmer, Saido Berahino,  — both of whom have either underperformed and, in Berainho’s case, been banished to the club’s U-23 side altogether — cost Stoke a combined $40 million, while former Real Madrid wonderkid Jese Rodriguez — on loan form Paris Saint-Germain — managed all of one goal in 13 PL appearances (8 starts) this season.

The “unwatchable” days of route-one soccer under Tony Pulis seem oh so far away now, don’t they?

Liverpool 0-0 Stoke: Home dominance without finish

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  • Dominant Reds can’t score
  • Pieters penalty uncalled
  • Salah misses breakaway

Liverpool couldn’t find a way past Stoke City, drawing the relegation-threatened Potters 0-0 at Anfield on Saturday.

The Reds wasted a chance to stay in the race for second place but staying mostly healthy for Wednesday’s UEFA Champions League semifinal second leg at Roma.

The Potters now have 30 points, three back of 17th place Swans and one ahead of Saints, but have played two matches more than both.

Stoke was out shot 20-5 and held less than one-third of the ball on the day.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Stoke’s Moritz Bauer nearly put Liverpool on the penalty spot in the fifth minute when he reached out for Trent Alexander-Arnold inside the six, but was mercifully let off the hook.

Moments later, the Reds gave the Potters a break in the most surprising fashion, with Mohamed Salah‘s 50-yard breakaway chipped over Jack Butland but wide of the near post. Stunning, really: It would’ve been a remarkable way to set a Premier League record.

A rare Stoke counterattack saw Mame Biram Diouf head a cross off the outside of the goal from an acute angle in the 20th minute.

Peter Crouch just missed getting on the end of a cross through the six moments later, as the Potters started to fancy their chances of a necessary away result.

Salah missed the near post and rippled the outside of the netting with a free kick in the 34th.

Danny Ings score a fine goal from a tight, tight angle, but was just offside when the ball was played.

Already thin in the midfield, Jordan Henderson took a follow-through of Xherdan Shaqiri‘s pass in the shin and collapsed to the turf.

Liverpool bumbled through the second half, but was unlucky to not receive a penalty when Giorginio Wijnaldum’s cross was blocked by Erik Pieters‘ dangling arm. Most times, that’s given.

The Potters nearly took advantage when Diouf crossed for Shawcross and the veteran couldn’t cut it inside the goal with a slide in tight.

As for the below stat, make it 55…

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Stoke City 1-1 Burnley: Deflating draw

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  • Ndiaye opens scoring
  • Diouf assists, then misses big chance
  • Barnes levels for Burnley

Neither Burnley not Stoke City will be pleased with a 1-1 draw at the bet365 Stadium on Sunday.

Badou Ndiaye gave Stoke a first half lead en route to a hopeful three points which could help save the side’s Premier League status, but Ashley Barnes‘ fortunate equalizer gave the Clarets a point.

Stoke has 29 points, four behind 17th place Swansea. Burnley sits four points behind Arsenal with one more match played in the race for sixth.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Stoke led in the 11th minute through a very nice team goal, as Joe Allen found Ndiaye in the middle of the pitch. The midfielder worked a 1-2 with Mame Biram Diouf before sneaking a shot inside a tiny window.

Ashley Barnes bid to level the score when he collected a Kieran Westwood diagonal ball, but his curling effort from the left failed to find the goal.

Johann Berg Gudmundsson curled a free kick over the Stoke wall, and Jack Butland did well to save for a corner.

Diouf flubbed a chance to make it 2-0 when an Ndiaye cross found him alone near the back post.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Butland made an outstanding save to force a Burnley corner in the 55th minute.

Barnes continued his villainous streak all match, and saw Butland’s slap save bound off his thigh and across the line to level the score in the 62nd minute.

Gudmundsson dragged a stoppage time shot millimeters wide of the far post.