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Everton and fierce rivals Liverpool linked to England international

The Merseyside clubs are set to fight over Stoke City man Jack Butland...

Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

Everton - and Merseyside rivals Liverpool - have been linked with a move for Stoke City star Jack Butland, by the Daily Mirror.

Tim Howard's performances over the past 18 months have highlighted the need for a new keeper at Goodison Park, and the England international would be a brilliant replacement.

While Stoke have been playing poorly this season, the 22-year-old has been in fine form. So much so that he was rewarded with his third Three Lions cap this month.

However, if there is anything in this rumour, then the price could be a stumbling block. According to the Mirror, the 'keeper could cost £17 million, and we may have to wait until next summer to bring him to the North West.

With Liverpool having goalkeeping troubles of their own with Simon Mignolet - who amazingly managed to concede by literally holding on to the ball for too long recently - it would be a fiercely fought contest between the pair.

Although the price is very steep, this is one rumour that we should hope is true. Butland is up there with the best keepers in the league at the moment - and is still only 22!