Butland agrees Leeds loan switch

The England under-21 goalkeeper has found opportunities limited at the Britannia Stadium owing to the form of Asmir Begovic and has moved to the Championship side
Stoke City goalkeeper Jack Butland has agreed a loan move to Championship outfit Leeds United.

The 20-year-old joined Stoke from Birmingham City last January, but was immediately loaned back to the St Andrew's club for the remainder of the season.

With Bosnia-Herzegovina international Asmir Begovic firmly established as Stoke's number one, Butland has had to be patient when it comes to first-team opportunities in the Premier League.

After a loan spell at Barnsley earlier in the current campaign, Butland was given a chance by Stoke boss Mark Hughes in January after both Begovic and Thomas Sorensen picked up injuries, and the youngster impressed in four appearances.

However, now that Begovic and Sorensen are fit again, Stoke appear happy to let Butland gain first-team experience elsewhere as he seeks to keep alive his hopes of being selected in England's World Cup squad.

Speaking at a press conference on Thursday, Hughes confirmed Leeds were close to securing Butland's services.

"I think there has been contact with Leeds regarding Jack Butland, and we are hopeful of a loan deal being concluded," said the Welshman.

Leeds subsequently revealed an agreement with Stoke was in place, with manager Brian McDermott saying: "We're delighted to agree a deal to secure the services of Jack until the end of the season.

"Obviously he has high ambitions. He has already been involved in the England squad and I know he is very much looking forward to coming in and being part of the group we have here."

A regular member of England's Under-21 side, Butland has one senior cap - gained in a friendly against Italy 18 months ago - and also played for Great Britain in the 2012 Olympic Games.