Date: 22nd June 2017 at 4:00pm
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According to the Bleacher Report, despite the Arsene Wenger protestations to the contrary, very much the Wenger way really, Jordan Pickford was an Arsenal target before he joined Everton in a club record deal this month, netting Sunderland up to £30m.

Now, having missed out on one England goalkeeper, Arsenal have shifted priorities onto another as Stoke’s Jack Butland is now lined up as one of the Gunners’ priority transfers, becoming Petr Cech’s long-term replacement.

In the closing stages of his career, Cech, 35, is still under contract for another two years but Arsenal are making plans, quite rightly, for his eventual long-term successor, which isn’t anticipated to come from the current stock.

Clarifying the contract situations of the likes of Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez is seen as the immediate focus and then agreeing a deal with Lyon for Alexandre Lacazette, most if not all of these will be easier said than done.

Stoke aren’t under any pressure to sell, Butland only signed a new five and a half year deal last year, so hold all the aces, but these reports claim sources have made it clear Arsenal’s focus is centred on Butland, 24, and efforts to sign him will continue into next year if needed.

Pickford’s British record fee would almost certainly be smashed, but Arsenal would have competition from Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United, reports the Daily Star.

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