Gary Rowett dismisses Jack Butland exit talk amid Chelsea link
By Zinny Boswell
Last Updated: 27/07/18 3:36pm
Stoke boss Gary Rowett says he "does not believe" speculation linking goalkeeper Jack Butland with a summer transfer, amid interest from Chelsea.
Butland is a Chelsea target this summer, according to Sky sources, although it is understood that Jordan Pickford is their primary choice if Thibaut Courtois leaves for Real Madrid.
Rowett is unfazed by the reports surrounding his No 1, who returned to pre-season training on Friday after receiving an extended break following his World Cup campaign with England.
"I don't believe any rumours if I'm honest," Rowett told the club's official website.
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"I understand the good players are going to be linked with good clubs which is great, I get that.
"That shows the level of player we've got at this club.
"It shows the level Jack Butland is at as a young keeper and that those clubs might potentially look at him."
Rowett has confirmed Butland will play in Stoke's final warm-up match on Saturday ahead of their opening game of the season against Leeds in the Sky Bet Championship on August 5.
Rowett said: "We've given him as much time off as we think we can.
"He will travel with the team to St Pauli and he'll start the game against them because we think we need to get him some minutes with the team."
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