West Ham have been installed as the favourites to sign England international goalkeeper Jack Butland by Ladbrokes.
Stoke stopper Butland went to the World Cup in the summer and started for the Three Lions against Switzerland in midweek, but his international ambitions may take a hit in the Championship.
That has encouraged Ladbrokes to price up his prospects of a January move and Manuel Pellegrini’s struggling side have been installed as the favourites.
The Hammers are 6/4 to land Butland, who was odds-on to join Liverpool at one point during the summer, before their then world-record swoop to land Alisson.
That puts them ahead of fellow bottom three club Newcastle (3/1), Mark Hughes’ Southampton (5/1), Eddie Howe’s Bournemouth (6/1) and newly-promoted Fulham (also 6/1).
Alex Apati of Ladbrokes said: “Every cloud has a silver lining and West Ham’s dreadful start to the season makes them shock favourites to sign an England international in Butland.”
Do West Ham need him?
The Hammers have just pounced for an impressive recently-relegated goalkeeper in Lukasz Fabianski and he has performed well since his arrival from Swansea.
Adrian is a capable back-up, so there is no obvious need for Butland? Would he be an upgrade on Fabianski? Potentially, and he is a younger option. But there are other areas that need strengthening ahead of goalkeeper, so it doesn’t look worthwhile.
Bournemouth and Fulham may be there at 6/1 but they both have a more pressing need for a goalkeeper than West Ham do.