West Ham

West Ham face competition from Fulham for Alphonse Areola

Areola made a superb save to help West Ham beat Sevilla in the Europa League last 16
Areola made a superb save to help West Ham beat Sevilla in the Europa League last 16 / Marc Atkins/GettyImages
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West Ham's hopes of re-signing goalkeeper Alphonse Areola next season may be scuppered by interest from former club Fulham, 90min understands.

The 29-year-old is on a season-long loan at West Ham but has been unable to dislodge Lukasz Fabianski as the club's number one goalkeeper, and has instead been restricted to appearances in the Europa League and domestic cup competitions.

The Hammers have the option to either re-sign Areola on loan again for 2022/23 or buy him outright from PSG for £11m, while they also hold interest in West Brom goalkeeper Sam Johnstone - who is out of contract in the summer and is on the radar of Manchester United.

However, 90min has learned that although West Ham are considering the signing of Areola, the decision to sign the Frenchman may be taken out of their hands by significant interest from former club Fulham.

The Cottagers are closing in on an immediate return to the Premier League after pulling 14 points clear of third-placed Luton in the Championship, and they have their sights set on taking Areola back to Craven Cottage after a hugely successful loan spell during 2020/21.

Though Fulham were relegated during that campaign, Areola was a standout performer during his time at the club - making 114 saves from 156 shots faced for an overall save percentage of 73.1, the seventh best in the Premier League that season.

He then joined West Ham in July 2021 in the hope of ousting Fabianski as West Ham's number one goalkeeper, but the veteran Pole has performed well throughout the season and Areola has instead been afforded limited opportunities to play - which may influence his decision when it comes to deciding what to do next.

Fabianski is out of contract at West Ham this summer but 90min understands that a new one-year deal has already been agreed, which will extend his stay at London Stadium into a fifth season.

As for Areola, who counts Real Madrid among his former clubs, he recently reminded West Ham's supporters of what he is capable of, making an incredible close-range reflex save from Youssef En-Nesyri in the Europa League last 16.

That stop proved to be pivotal as the Hammers sensationally turned things around six-time winners Sevill to win 2-1 on aggregate, setting up a quarter-final tie with Lyon.

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