Jack Butland is set to be left out of Birmingham’s FA Cup squad to take on Leeds on Tuesday to avoid being cup-tied, which could hamper his chances of a £6 million move out of the club.
Birmingham look likely to sell Butland, 19, this month as the club need to raise significant funds to avoid going into administration. Reserve goalkeeper Colin Doyle will play in his place.
The Blues rejected £6 million from Southampton for the player in the summer but would now be prepared to accept a similar offer, with the promise of further instalments taking the deal to around £8 million.
Fulham are also keen on the England international, with Mark Schwarzer out of contract in the summer, but are believed to have reservations about Birmingham’s asking price. They may opt to wait until the end of the window in the hope of signing the goalkeeper in a cut-price deal.
Manager Lee Clark stated on Monday that a win over Leeds - setting up a fourth-round tie against Tottenham - would not generate enough cash to avoid player sales.
“As a manager I’ve got to look at all types of scenarios and also the possibility of Jack being in a cup-tied situation,” Clark said. “I had a conversation with him before the game last week when we talked about numerous things. The bottom line is we’ve never had an official bid by anyone [in this transfer window]. We’ve had inquiries and conversations but not anyone putting down a figure and saying they would like to bid for Jack.
“The board haven’t given me a figure [on how much I have to raise]. I’m trying to keep myself cocooned away from that. If the financial people at the club tell me something needs to be done I trust them 100 per cent and they get on with it. I’m just trying to focus on what I can control and that’s the football.”
Striker Nikola Zigic is proving the most substantial drain on the club’s finances, earning £50,000 a week, while he had no clause inserted into his contract to ensure a pay cut when the club were relegated to the Championship.
The Serbia international’s salary has made it tough for Birmingham to shift him, with Villarreal abandoning a bid to sign the player this month.
Birmingham are also demanding £6 million for Nathan Redmond and rejected a £300,000 bid from Nottingham Forest for Chris Burke last week.