Ben Foster's WBA move frees Jack Butland at Birmingham

Ben Foster

New Birmingham City boss Lee Clark says Ben Foster's impending move to West Bromwich Albion will give England squad keeper Jack Butland his Blues chance.

"It's common knowledge there's dialogue between ourselves and West Bromwich Albion and we'll see if we can come to an agreement," Clark told BBC Sport.

"Jack wants to come in and be number one and that's what we see him as.

"I saw a lot of Jack Butland last season and it wasn't a surprise to see him called up to the England squad."

Butland, still only 19, kept 11 clean sheets in 24 matches on loan at League Two side Cheltenham last season.

And Clark has seen enough of Butland to know that he is more than capable of going between the sticks as Blues' number one next season.

Reports had suggested that former Blues boss Chris Hughton might have Butland in mind to follow him to Norwich if John Ruddy, who has since signed a new four-year contract, had left Carrow Road.

But Clark has already backed up the Blues board's 'not for sale' stance by admitting that it would take a "crazy" offer to tempt them to sell either of their two prize assets Butland and Nathan Redmond.

The fact that England goalkeeping coach Dave Watson is also on Blues' payroll will also be a factor in bedding down the 6ft 4ins tall Bristol-born youngster at St Andrew's.

"He's got a huge part to play in the future of this club," said Clark.

"The club are very lucky to have the standard of keepers that we have on the books.

"Everyone can see that Jack's an international star of the future and it would be nice for him to do that with Birmingham City."

Albion confirmed last week that they are "in talks" about Foster, who spent last season on loan at The Hawthorns, Boaz Myhill going in the other direction to play for Blues.

"But the price has to be right for us - and Blues," said sporting and technical director Dan Ashworth.

Top Stories