Premier League new boys Aston Villa are ready to raid the bank to sign Stoke City goalkeeper Jack Butland this summer, according to the Birmingham Mail.
Villans boss Dean Smith is looking to undergo a radical overhaul of his squad in this transfer window, to ensure his side are competitive on their return to the top flight, and knows he must strengthen his options between the sticks.
Villa have had problems with the goalkeeper position for a while. They used three stoppers in their promotion winning campaign, concluding the season with Jed Steer in goal despite him being sent out on loan to Charlton Athletic earlier in the year.
He was the hero for the Villans in their successful play-off winning campaign, saving penalties in the shootout win over West Bromwich Albion in the semi-final, but Smith knows his side need a top class option in that area of the park.
Butland is widely expected to leave the Bet365 Stadium this summer, citing that he needs to be playing Premier League football to remain a part of the England shake up in a season which will conclude with a European Championship of which much will be played at home, and Villa are ready to give him a chance of a return to the top flight.
The Villans are one of a number of clubs who are looking at the former Birmingham City star, with Bournemouth and Crystal Palace also said to be interested in his services.
Whoever gets the England stopper will have to break the bank to get him, as Stoke are expected to hold out for more than £20 million for what is a key player for them, and very much one of their prized assets.
Villa are looking to manage their transfer recruitment wisely this summer, but promotion to the Premier League has given them money to spend, and given the importance of a top level goalkeeper, they are expected to spend what is necessary to take Butland to Vila Park.