Report: West Ham in race to sign £15m-rated proven PL performer, club have advantage
By Matt Farr
West Ham have joined a host of Premier League clubs in the race to sign highly-rated Sunderland goalkeeper Jordan Pickford, according to a report.
The Sun claim that the Hammers are weighing up a summer move for the £15million-rated Premier League ace, who has been a shining light in Sunderland’s faltering campaign against relegation.
Pickford, 23, has kept just three clean sheets this term, but Sunderland’s poor defensive record is no indication of the stopper’s true ability.
He has already been tipped to become England’s No.1 goalkeeper in the future, with Premier League giants Arsenal, Tottenham, Manchester City and Everton also believed to be interested in his services.
It is understood that Sunderland may cash-in on their star goalkeeper this summer if they fail to retain their Premier League status, with the club currently bottom of the table with eight games remaining.
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West Ham have a number of defensive concerns of their own, with Saturday’s priceless 1-0 victory over Swansea handing them only their first clean sheet since January 14.
Republic of Ireland international Darren Randolph is the current first choice goalkeeper at the east London club, but his recent performances have raised concerns among West Ham fans.
His deputy Adrian, meanwhile, has struggled for consistency and had been dropped earlier in the campaign for Randolph.
The Sun report that one advantage West Ham have over the likes of Arsenal and Tottenham is they can offer a direct path to regular first-team Premier League football.
Football Insider verdict
Although it is reported that West Ham are looking at Pickford to compete alongside the likes of Randolph and Adrian for a starting place, the Sunderland man will inevitably become a regular figure in between the sticks. Randolph and Adrian have both endured shaky spells this season, but Pickford offers a more reliable option, and deserves an extended stay in the Premier League if Sunderland get relegated. The £15million price tag is more than reasonable, but the biggest issue for West Ham could be the competition. Several of the division’s top sides are keen on Pickford as long-term successors to their current stars, and the lure of Europe and other factors could see the Hammers lose out.
In other West Ham transfer news, the club have had a striker bid accepted.