West Ham United will battle high flying Championship side Fulham for French goalkeeper Alphonse Areola in the summer transfer window.
According to 90 min, Premier League side West Ham United face a fight on their hands to keep Alphonse Areola amidst interest from Fulham.
The French goalkeeper joined the Hammers on loan from PSG last summer but has failed to dislodge Lukasz Fabianski from the starting lineup. He has so far made 14 appearances for the Irons, most of them in cup competitions, keeping seven clean sheets in the process.
As things stand, David Moyes’s side have the option to re-sign the player on loan for another season or secure his services on a permanent deal for around £11 million. Given that they are also interested in a soon-to-be free agent, Sam Johnstone, it remains to be seen if making Areola’s stay permanent is something under consideration.
However, Fulham remain a formidable obstacle in West Ham’s efforts to sign Areola. The Cottagers are currently leading the English second-tier and look like the favourites to return to the top-flight ahead of next season.
Fulham are well aware of the Frenchman’s prowess, given that he spent the 2020/21 campaign on loan at Craven Cottage. Areola kept ten clean sheets in 48 appearances for the Cottagers across all competitions during that season and appears to have left a solid impression at the club.
Areola has more or less performed when called upon at West Ham and has a better chance of making it as a starting goalkeeper at Fulham. While Lukasz Fanianski’s contract is up in the summer, the Hammers look set to extend his stay for another season. The Polish shot-stopper is 36 and in the final years of his career.
While Areola can claim to take over the reins, he will be hard-pressed to do so should Fabianski pen a one-year extension. Fulham, meanwhile, could do with strengthening some areas of their squad ahead of the 2022/23 Premier League campaign. Given that Areola is already familiar with the club and has impressed them in the past, meaning a summer move for him is only logical.
The 29-year-old, for all intents and purposes, is a PSG player but has spent the last three seasons out on loan at three different clubs. He is currently in his prime and will do well to establish himself away from the Parc des Princes. While London appears to be his next destination, whether it will be the London Stadium or Craven Cottage that he will call home remains to be seen.