Birmingham City ‘line up approach’ for ex-Stoke City and Crystal Palace leader

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The latest EFL Championship transfer news as Birmingham City line up an approach for a recent Rangers signing.

Wayne Rooney has reportedly set his sights on former Birmingham City academy player Jack Butland as one of his first signings at St Andrew’s Stadium. The ex-England international goalkeeper broke through at Blues in 2010 before signing for Stoke City in 2013. Now he’s being tipped for a dramatic return.

Butland, who only signed for Scottish Premiership giants Rangers in the summer, is said to be a priority target for Rooney as the new Birmingham boss looks to bring in a new goalkeeper. There are just two options currently at the club and both see their contracts expire at the end of the current season.

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John Ruddy, the number one choice, showed great loyalty in the summer to stay amid interest from Luton Town but he could move on when his deal runs out. Neil Etheridge, meanwhile, is on substantial wages and is set to leave at the same time. This naturally opens up a spot between the sticks for Butland.

The Sun reports former Rangers boss Michael Beale was the man to convince Butland to move to Scotland. Now Beale has prematurely exited the Ibrox, Butland is said to be “pondering his future” and could be lured back to Birmingham. It’s claimed a “proper fee” will be needed to sign the goalkeeper as he’s started well across the border.

With just five goals conceded in his first eight league matches for Rangers, as well as an impressive five clean sheets kept, Butland has certainly made a strong early impression. The goals have definitely been leaked in European competitions but his form in the Scottish Premiership has helped Rangers to second spot.

Butland is still just 30 years of age and has nine senior England caps to his name, one of which was alongside Rooney. Birmingham’s new manager captained the Three Lions as they beat France by two goals to nil in November 2015. Butland came on as a half-time substitute and kept a shut-out in the second period.

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