Jack Butland would rather play for England U21s in the European Championships

Jack Butland: Attention focused on England U21 side

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Jack Butland would rather play for England U21s in this summer's European Championship than compete for a place in the senior side's programme of friendlies.

The Stoke goalkeeper has been loaned back to Championship side Birmingham until the end of the season in order to provide him with regular first team football.

But the 20-year-old would prefer to be involved in Stuart Pearce's U21s side in Israel, even if that means missing out on the FA's 150th anniversary matches against the Republic of Ireland and Brazil.

"I want to go with the Under-21s," he said in The Times. "For me, I think it would be a lot more beneficial to my development.

"Much as I'd love to go to Brazil for the experience my target is to go there 12 months later for the World Cup.

"For now I need to get these games under my belt."

Butland was courted by Chelsea and Manchester City before agreeing a move to the Britannia Stadium but he insists he has no regrets about rejecting the advances of two of the biggest teams in the Premier League.

"I had the chance to speak to Chelsea but I didn't feel I needed to," he added.

"But I've got a chance to join a club where I feel I can better develop my game and take it to the next level.

"I turned Manchester City down about a year ago. Again, I was flattered but Joe Hart is their undisputed number one and he was a main factor."