Monday 6 August 2018 19:33, UK
Chelsea will make Stoke goalkeeper Jack Butland their top target if goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois leaves the club, according to Sky sources.
Courtois has won two Premier League titles with the Blues but is in the final year of his contract, and his agent has asked Chelsea to let the Belgian join Real Madrid.
Chelsea are reluctant to do so until they have acquired a suitable replacement and have switched their attention to Butland after Everton refused to negotiate over Jordan Pickford - who was England's No 1 ahead of Butland at the World Cup.
Sky Sports News has been told there has already been informal contact between Chelsea and Stoke City at boardroom level over a possible deal for Butland.
The Sky Bet Championship club would be prepared to allow Butland to leave for around £30m, but want any deal to be resolved quickly, so they would have time to buy a replacement themselves.
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The closer the negotiations go to 5pm on Thursday, the more likely it is that Stoke will demand a bigger fee, Sky Sports News understands.