Jack Butland must leave Stoke City to boost England career, says Steve Simonsen
Stoke goalkeeper Jack Butland needs to move if he wants to become first choice for England, says the Potters' former keeper Steve Simonsen.
Butland, 26, was back-up to Everton's Jordan Pickford during England's run to the World Cup semi-finals last summer.
He has continued to be included in the national squad despite a season playing in a struggling Championship team.
"It'll be excruciatingly hard to walk away. The issue for him is he's looking to progress his career," said Simonsen.
"If he wants to become England's number one then I think at this moment in time he is going to have to move away from Stoke City."
Butland was strongly linked with a transfer after Stoke's relegation from the Premier League last summer, but it never materialised.
Following their failure to secure an immediate promotion, finishing 16th in the second tier, those rumours have resurfaced.
Pickford, the man ahead of Butland in the England pecking order, joined Everton for £30m after Sunderland's relegation in 2017.
"It's not beyond the realms of possibility that a club could could offer that for Jack," Simonsen, who made 187 appearances for Stoke between 2004 and 2010, told BBC Radio Stoke.
"If that sort of money was offered to Stoke I think they would find it very, very difficult to turn down.
"For Jack, it's a very difficult decision but it's one he's obviously got to make at some point."