Sky Sports reporter Dharmesh Sheth has revealed that West Ham United are confident they will now sign Alphonse Areola this summer.
Having spent all of last season on loan with the Hammers, there have long been reports that the Frenchman will end up being made a permanent signing. However, the deal has looked uncertain at times – especially with other Premier League clubs being tipped to make moves for the goalkeeper at one point.
Despite this, it now seems as though West Ham will finally be able to get this transfer over the line, if the latest reports are to be believed.
Indeed, while speaking as a guest on The West Ham Way podcast, Sheth explained that his latest understanding of the situation is that there is an ‘increased confidence’ at the club that Areola will be signed.
He said: “The noises I’m hearing today are about Areola and an increased confidence that they can get that one done.
“And a feeling that he wants to fight for the first-team place next season, because he was effectively your cup goalkeeper, wasn’t he, last season.
“I think he wants to fight Fabianski for that first-team jersey.”
Will Alphonse Areola be at West Ham next season?
TIF Thoughts on Alphonse Areola and West Ham…
It is interesting to hear Sheth point out that Areola wants to stay and actually push to become the No 1 option between the sticks next term. During his loan spell, he played just once in the Premier League, with Lukasz Fabianski playing every other league game.
David Moyes may also be keen to see the Frenchman push on and make that position his own, too. Fabianski is 37 now, so it could be time to see some younger blood take over. On top of that, there was talk that West Ham weren’t keen on paying Areola such big wages to be a backup option, so he could justify his cost by proving himself as the club’s best goalkeeper.
While it remains unknown as to whether or not the 29-year-old will be able to claim the No 1 jersey in the future, it does at least sound as though Areola will get the chance to try next term – with the Hammers now so close to sorting the transfer, according to Sheth.