Report: West Ham closing in on London-born £12m man; manager admits he's distracted

David Moyes the manager of West Ham United looks on during the Premier League match between Sheffield United and West Ham United at Bramall Lane on January 10, 2020 in Sheffield, United...

Cardiff City goalkeeper Neil Etheridge is a West Ham United target and he looks set to swap the Championship for the Premier League.

Neil Etheridge of Cardiff City  during the Premier League match between Fulham FC and Cardiff City at Craven Cottage on April 27, 2019 in London, United Kingdom.

Cardiff City goalkeeper Neil Etheridge is set to seal a return to London with West Ham United closing in on a deal for the £12 million-rated shot-stopper, as reported by the Mirror (13 January, page 62).

We have reached the point where all three of West Ham’s glovesmen have blotted their copybook with mistakes this season. Lukasz Fabianski looked understandably rusty as he gifted Bournemouth a penalty at the London Stadium recently before David Martin made a huge error in the build up to Sheffield United’s winner on Friday.

The less said about Roberto Jimenez, meanwhile, the better.

 

And with a deal to re-sign Middlesbrough’s Darren Randolph under threat due to the Irishman’s ongoing fitness issues, David Moyes’s side have seemingly turned their focus on another impressive Championship goalkeeper as they look to solve a problem position at last.

Philippines international Etheridge really caught the eye despite Cardiff’s relegation from the Premier League last season and, amid links with a return to the top flight, he was left out of the Bluebirds starting XI for Sunday’s South Wales derby against Swansea City.

"There’s been a lot of talk around Neil, not just in this window but in the previous one as well,” manager Neil Harris told Wales Online when explaining why he left the 29-year-old out.

Patrick Bamford (R) of Leeds United is fouled for a penalty by Neil Etheridge (L) of Cardiff City during the Sky Bet Championship match between Leeds United and Cardiff City at Elland Road...

"He wants to be consistent, settled and wants to play football. To do that sometimes you need to be at your best and focused.”

The Mirror now claims that Etheridge, who started his career in the capital city with Fulham, is closing in on a move back to London with West Ham looking set to conclude a deal.

Enfield-born Etheridge might have to get used to having the weekend off, however, should Fabianski rediscover his golden touch between the sticks.

Neil Etheridge of Cardiff City celebrates his side's first goal during the Sky Bet Championship match between Sheffield Wednesday and Cardiff City at Hillsborough Stadium on December 29,...

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