West Ham have completed the signing of Paris Saint-Germain goalkeeper Alphonse Areola on an initial loan deal that will include an option to buy.
Areola underwent his medical in London on Thursday ahead of the move, which brings him back to the capital after a successful spell on loan with Fulham last season. Personal terms were swiftly agreed with the 28-year-old with West Ham to cover the majority of his wages. For their part, PSG were prepared to let him go having signed Gianluigi Donnarumma and with last season’s first-choice goalkeeper Keylor Navas still on their books.
Sources at West Ham told CBS Sports that they envisage Areola as a rival to established No. 1 Lukasz Fabianski, who has been one of the Premier League’s most consistent goalkeepers over recent years but has also struggled with injuries. At 36, the Polish international could eventually find himself supplanted by his new colleague, who, according to Opta’s goals prevented metric, conceded 4.16 goals fewer than expected based on the shots he faced in the Fulham goal last season.
It is understood that West Ham’s option to sign Areola would become an obligation subject to him playing a sufficient number of games, but if he continues the form he showed at Craven Cottage last season then it would be an easy decision for David Moyes’ side to make the move.
“Alphonse is an experienced and talented goalkeeper who has played at the highest level and performed very well in the Premier League last season,” said Moyes. “As we prepare for a very busy schedule, he will provide fantastic competition for the goalkeepers already at the football club and we are going to need to use our squad to ensure compete to the best of our abilities across all competitions.”
The Hammers are looking to strengthen their squad ahead of a Europa League campaign with Moyes on the lookout for a new center back and also keen to bring Jesse Lingard back to the London Stadium after a successful half-season spell on loan from Manchester United. Though the England international has less than a year left on his contract his current club are believed to want in excess of $28 million (£20 million) to sell Lingard.