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Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Exclusive: Manchester United in talks to sign Jack Butland as back-up goalkeeper

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Jack Butland of Crystal Palace attempts to save as Ben Godfrey of Everton stretches for the ball – Tom Dulat/Getty ImagesManchester United are in talks to sign Jack Butland as a back-up goalkeeper for the second half of the season.Erik ten Hag has been in the market for a No 2 ever since Martin Dubravka’s return to Newcastle United once his loan spell at Old Trafford ended.Butland, 29, went to the 2018 World Cup and had more England caps than Jordan Pickford at the time, but the Everton goalkeeper has since established himself as Gareth Southgate’s first choice.After suffering relegation from the Premier League that season, Butland moved to Crystal Palace in 2020. Last season he was limited to 15 appearances behind Vincente Guaita and this season has seen increased competition with Sam Johnstone’s arrival.Butland is free to talk to clubs about a pre-contract for next season as his deal at Selhurst Park expires in less than six months but United have moved to bring him in immediately as back-up to David de Gea.The length of his deal at Palace means fees are likely to be nominal for a player with Premier League experience. Tom Heaton is also at Old Trafford as No 3 in the group of goalkeepers.Heaton was on the bench for the win over Bournemouth on Tuesday night following Dubravka’s return to Newcastle. The Slovakia keeper played in EFL Cup wins over Aston Villa and Burnley but wanted to return to St James’ Park.United still have an issue with De Gea’s contract, which expires at the end of the season. As revealed by Telegraph Sport, United have stalled on triggering his one-year extension to stay until 2024.

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