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Saints' £6 million Butland bid rejected

Birmingham City have turned down a £6 million bid from Southampton for highly-rated goalkeeper Jack Butland, who was in the England squad for Euro 2012.

Butland, 19, will link-up with the Birmingham first team squad this season after impressing during two loan spells with Cheltenham Town.

Newly-appointed Birmingham manager Lee Clark has stated his admiration for the young goalkeeper, and with Southampton's bid rebuffed and Ben Foster heading for the exit, Butland looks set to start the season as the Blues' first-choice keeper following the Olympic Games.

Clark said: "I know how good Jack Butland is and I think he can push Joe Hart all the way to be the England No 1. It's a great kudos for the club for him to be going to the Olympics. We are all proud and hope he comes back super-confident.

"Playing at the Olympics will put him in the shop window, but you can't hide good players. It will have to be big numbers for us to even consider selling him. As far as I'm concerned, he will start the season here."

Although no players selected at Euro 2012 were meant to be called for the Olympics, Butland is expected to be given an exemption, having not featured at all for England in the role of third choice keeper.

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