West Ham United have confirmed the permanent signing of French goalkeeper Alphonse Areola from Paris Saint-Germain.
Areola spent last season on loan with West Ham as part of a deal which also gave the Hammers the option to sign the 29-year-old permanently for £11m.
He made just one appearance in the Premier League but impressed on West Ham's run to the Europa League semi-final, featuring in all but the first group stage game and keeping five clean sheets in his 11 outings.
West Ham have now confirmed that after weeks of negotiations with Areola's camp over personal terms, and rival interest from Fulham and Newcastle, he has put pen to paper on a five-year contract - where he will now challenge Lukasz Fabianski for the number one goalkeeping spot at London Stadium.
“I feel good, I feel great, I’m happy to sign and happy to stay here permanently and I can’t wait to start to train and to do the job,” Areola said on the club's website.
“The main thing is that I felt the love of the supporters last season. Something for me that is really important is to feel that I’m loved. I know that I have to do my job and to do everything to make them happy, and obviously also the team, my teammates, the staff and Xavi Valero as well. The vibe of last season was great, so I just wanted to do everything to stay here.
“I feel comfortable, I feel like when I'm signing in a club, I want to feel that it’s like my second family. Obviously, we're here every day and we are sharing lots of times together, so I have to feel comfortable with everyone and feel them comfortable with me as well, so I just feel comfortable here.”
Listen now to 90min's Talking Transfers podcast, with Scott Saunders, Graeme Bailey, Harry Symeou & Toby Cudworth. On the latest show they discuss Newcastle's decision to pull out of a deal for Hugo Ekitike and offer the latest on Arsenal's pursuit of Gabriel Jesus. Available on all audio platforms and the 90min YouTube channel.
If you can't see the podcast embed, click here to download the episode in full!
Areola is West Ham's second signing of the summer, with manager David Moyes having already strengthened his backline with the arrival of Nayef Aguerd, who joined from Rennes earlier this month.
Further signings are expected as West Ham prepare to compete in Europe for a second consecutive season. As many as six signings are being targeted by the club, and the focus is now likely to switch to strengthening the squad in forward areas.
Chelsea's Armando Broja is a central striking option, alongside Sassuolo duo Giacomo Raspadori and Gianluca Scamacca, while Hull City winger Keane Lewis-Potter is also under serious consideration.
The Hammers are also continuing talks with Jesse Lingard over a return to the club - he will leave Manchester United as a free agent at the end of June and previously enjoyed a successful loan spell at West Ham during 2020/21, scoring nine goals in 16 appearances.