West Ham face fee issues in bid to bring back Darren Randolph to club

Middlesbrough likely to want the £5m they paid the Hammers two years ago

West Ham could make a move to bring back Ireland international goalkeeper Darren Randolph to the club during the transfer window in January. Photograph:  Ryan Byrne/Inpho

West Ham could make a move to bring back Ireland international goalkeeper Darren Randolph to the club during the transfer window in January. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

 

West Ham’s hopes of re-signing Darren Randolph next month depend on Middlesbrough lowering their asking price for the Ireland international goalkeeper, who is wanted by Manuel Pellegrini to provide experienced cover for Lukasz Fabianski.

West Ham are expected to be busy during the transfer window, with moves likely for a central midfielder and a striker, and they will prioritise signing a goalkeeper to replace Roberto, who struggled after Fabianski suffered a serious hip injury in September. Roberto lost his place to David Martin last month and the 33-year-old Spaniard, who joined on a free last summer, is likely to be sold.

Pellegrini knows he needs better cover for Fabianski, who could be back for the trip to Crystal Palace on St Stephen’s Day, and that could lead to a return for Randolph. The 32-year-old spent two years at West Ham before joining Middlesbrough for £5 million two years ago.

It is thought that any deal depends on Middlesbrough softening their stance on Randolph. The Championship club do not want to make a loss on the goalkeeper and have indicated they could hold on to him until next summer.

West Ham believe a fee in the region of £3 million would be fair and they have started to explore alternative options, with loan moves for Bournemouth’s Asmir Begovic and Stoke City’s Jack Butland also possible. Bournemouth are unlikely to reject offers for Begovic, whose loan at Qarabag ends soon; Stoke want to raise funds by selling Butland for a sizeable fee.

In attack West Ham are interested in Gabriel Barbosa, the 23-year-old Brazilian forward on loan at Flamengo from Inter Milan.

Pellegrini, who has been under intense pressure, also wants greater depth in midfield. West Ham are monitoring Newcastle’s Isaac Hayden and could move for Stoke’s Joe Allen. – Guardian

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