Rangers fans don’t need to fear a Jack Butland exit just yet, with a lot of rumours over the ex-England star’s stunning renaissance at Ibrox leading to Premier League admirers, but if the 30-year-old continues his form, the summer will be a different story.
Butland has easily been the signing of the summer, and while he still hasn’t quite nailed the ‘miracle save’ moment that predecessors Allan McGregor and Andy Goram perfected, he’s come close a few times with some massive, game-changing saves.
While not perfect (he has had a few average displays and was visibly flapping at one cross v Kilmarnock before the break) he has been, generally, an exceptional addition and comfortably one of Rangers’ best stoppers… ever.
Even in just five months it’s become clear Butland is among Rangers’ finest between the sticks, and that quality has alerted clubs in England who basically ignored him despite his evident pedigree.
But that’s what the platform of Rangers does for a player – massive stadium, huge crowds, big matches, Europe, and of course the Old Firm clashes – the profile of the club, the exposure – the attention there along with being an already well-known English player means they’re under the spotlight more than they would be even in most other top five leagues.
And that means PL sides are looking at Butland.
They know what he brings, how good he is, but they didn’t truly know how good he was.
Now they do.
Rangers are safe for this window, but the next window will be tougher, and with Butland entering peak career years for a goalkeeper, the attention will intensify and Rangers will do very well to stave off admirers this summer.
Thankfully, the worst-case scenario is getting a huge tonne of cash for him, unless you believe the £5M reports of an escape clause. Butland, obviously, is worth a lot more than that, and Rangers would do very, very well to quickly alter that to a lot higher with an agreed amendment to the deal.
If Butland appreciates what Rangers are doing for his career, he’d honour protecting the club in this way.
We’d suggest a minimum of £10M. Absolute minimum.
But either way, it’s not happening this window anyway.