Jack Butland & £15M move to PL – why Rangers’ #1 may stay at Rangers

Jack Butland & £15M move to PL – why Rangers’ #1 may stay at Rangers
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - AUGUST 19: Jack Butland of Rangers is seen during the Viaplay Cup match between Rangers FC and Greenock Morton FC at Ibrox Stadium on August 19, 2023 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

It’s becoming apparent now that playing the best football of his fine career still won’t be enough to give Rangers goalkeeper Jack Butland the call up to his national team.

Whether ex-England stopper David James is right and it’s because of a clique in the national setup caused by manager Gareth Southgate, or whether it’s just the classic ‘plays in Scotland’ reason that seems just as believable, Butland will not play for England again as long as he is Rangers’ man between the sticks.

Which means he has a career decision to make this summer, because it is nearly 100% likely a Premier League side will attempt to secure his services this year given his spectacular form for Rangers.

It’s been said Rangers would accept £15M for him, and, again, like James Tavernier, Butland is the ‘wrong’ side of 30 (slightly different rules for goalies) and the club would be hard pressed to reject a bid of that number.

But more to the point, his decision is simple:

Good enough to play for England, certainly to get the call up, but sacrifices that for the best club contentment he’s had in his career, winning trophies and playing regularly in Europe, including, next season, hopefully, the Champions League.

Or, he wants the call up too much and accepts the move down south in order to be in the frame again.

What David James said urges caution over the second one – as we suggested yesterday, even moving back to the PL might not get him into the England setup given he’s not come through the national system with this manager and this regime is clique personified.

Southgate very much sticks with his favourites and only makes new call ups – very rarely does he recall players well out of the picture, especially those out of the picture from before his arrival.

So Butland is left with a decision – and that decision surely will rest on Rangers winning the title, and making the group stage of the Champions League.

Butland, at Rangers, can’t have England it seems, so the next best thing he can have is playing in the new format Champions League, and that would be a new experience for him. But it depends on Rangers winning 56 this season, or, at utter worst, qualifying for the group spot via the qualifying rounds. But we don’t want to go there.

Either way though, Butland is choosing between the biggest club he’s actually played for (he never actually turned out for Manchester United) and winning trophies and potentially competing in the most lucrative club competition in the world, or moving to a PL club and only hoping he gets a call from a manager who isn’t interested.

It does seem Butland is better off staying with Rangers.

But we would say that.

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