West Ham are close to finalising a move for Paris Saint-Germain keeper Alphonse Areola, according to reports.
The Frenchman spent last season on loan at Fulham, where he made 36 Premier League appearances under Scott Parker.
He kept nine clean sheets in that time but couldn’t help the Cottagers to avoid relegation.
Areola will soon return to England, as Fabrizio Romano reports West Ham have agreed to sign him.
The 28-year-old will join on an initial loan deal which includes the option to buy next summer.
That will give West Ham a chance to assess his impact on the team and whether he can take them to the next level.
Romano says Areola has already settled personal terms with the London club. He is set to sign the contract in the coming days.
Hammers boss David Moyes has been searching for a new keeper since the January transfer window.
Lukasz Fabianski was impressive last term but is now 36 years old and nearing the end of his career.
Leeds United’s Illan Meslier, who gained plenty of admirers in 2020/21, has previously been touted as his replacement.
But the Whites are unwilling to sell and that has forced West Ham to look at alternative options.
They now seem to have decided on Areola as he already has Premier League experience.
A deal is likely because of PSG’s keeper situation.
Having brought in Gigi Donnarumma from AC Milan, they currently have six first-team keepers in the squad.
Keylor Navas looks set to stay at the Parc des Princes and fight for his place. The likes of Sergio Rico and Marcin Bulka, however, will surely be offloaded.
Areola came through PSG’s academy before being promoted to their senior side in 2010.
He’s made 107 appearances for the French giants since then and has been on numerous loan spells.
He isn’t the only former Fulham loanee to make an immediate return to England.
Danish centre-back Joachim Andersen has secured a £20million move to Crystal Palace from Lyon.
Speaking about his transfer, the 25-year-old said: “I’m extremely proud to be joining Crystal Palace and to be playing in the world’s best football league.
“The management of the club and Patrick Vieira have given me very strong assurance that they know my qualities, they believe in me and want me to play an important role in the team.
“I have a very positive impression of Patrick from the conversations I have had with him, and I have heard nothing but great things about the manager, the club and its plans for the future.”
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