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Stoke City to target Joe Hart as Jack Butland replacement?

Stoke to target Hart as Butland replacement?
© Reuters
Stoke City reportedly identify Joe Hart as a replacement for Jack Butland if the keeper leaves the club this summer.

Stoke City are reportedly considering a move for Burnley keeper Joe Hart should Jack Butland leave the club this summer.

Butland, 26, has been with the Potters since 2013 and made the drop down with the club into the Championship last season, featuring in all but one of their league games.

With Stoke failing to bounce back to the Premier League at the first time of asking, however, Butland is expected to be targeted for a top-flight return with another club this summer.

Potential suitors include newly-promoted Aston Villa, as well as Crystal Palace and Bournemouth, with any deal likely to cost around £20m.

According to The Sun, Stoke have already begun preparations for Butland's possible departure and have identified former England and Manchester City keeper Hart as their first-choice replacement.

The 32-year-old dropped down the pecking order at Turf Moor halfway through last season following Tom Heaton's return from injury, while Nick Pope is also among the Clarets' ranks.

Blackburn Rovers are also thought to have expressed an interest in Hart, who is likely to go for less than the £3.5m Burnley paid for his signature a year ago.

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Nick Pope in action for Burnley on January 5, 2019
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