Contact made: West Ham eye move for free agent stopper with bags of PL experience - report
By Will Butcher
West Ham are considering a move for Norwich goalkeeper John Ruddy following news of his imminent release from Championship side Norwich, according to a report.
The Daily Mail claim the Hammers have spoken to one-time England international Ruddy, who will be available on a free after being told his Canaries contract will not be renewed.
Norwich revealed that along with Ruddy, the likes of Youssouf Mulumbu, Ryan Bennett, Steven Whittaker and Kyle Lafferty will leave Carrow Road on June 30 when their contracts end.
It means the former Everton trainee is allowed to talk to clubs over a potential free transfer, with Brighton said to be keen on defender Bennett.
The Hammers are likely to be in the market for a new goalkeeper, with Spaniard Adrian set to leave the London Stadium in similar circumstances to 30-year-old stopper Ruddy.
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The Sun claim Slaven Bilic’s side are also keen on Sunderland’s Jordan Pickford, while The Mail have reported Man City’s Joe Hart is a £15million target for the east London outfit.
This season, Ruddy has made 29 appearances in all competitions for Norwich, keeping 10 Championship clean sheets as the east Anglian side failed to return to the Premier League at the first attempt.
However, Norwich’s number one could find himself back in the top flight of English football should the Hammers complete a move for Ruddy.
Football Insider verdict:
Ruddy holds plenty of Premier League experience and has proven himself at the top level on many an occasion, performing well enough to even earn a place between the sticks for England back in 2012. However, the Hammers must first scour the transfer market in order to find a better alternative to Ruddy, who is no improvement on current options Adrian and Ireland international Darren Randolph. Bringing either Hart or Pickford to the London Stadium would prove a much better signing ahead of the 2017-18 season rather than Ruddy, who struggled to be a permanent fixture in Norwich’s side this season.
In other West Ham transfer news, Sir Trevor Booking believes this Premier League goal machine would be perfect for his former side.