West Ham have submitted a fresh £7million bid to sign Cardiff City goalkeeper Neil Etheridge as they continue their search for another option between the sticks, according to Football Insider.
Etheridge was left out of the Cardiff side for their clash with Swansea over the weekend amid growing speculation surrounding his future, and it is now being reported that West Ham have made a bid for his services worth £6million plus £1million in add-ons.
The Hammers were expected to complete a swoop to re-sign Darren Randolph after agreeing a fee with Middlesbrough, but this move has now been placed on hold as West Ham await the results of his second medical, with the goalkeeper currently injured.
This means the London side now appear to have lined up Etheridge as a potential back-up option for Lukasz Fabianski, with the Polish shot-stopper having suffered another injury setback during West Ham’s 1-0 defeat to Sheffield United on Friday.
Etheridge could immediately step into the West Ham side if required, with the Philippines international having made 16 appearances so far this campaign after overcoming an injury in the early part of the season.
Here, we take a look at one winner and one loser if Etheridge completes his West Ham switch…
Winner: Alex Smithies
Smithies was named in the Cardiff starting line-up for the South Wales derby against Swansea on Sunday amid speculation surrounding Etheridge’s future, with this being the former QPR man’s first league start since early October.
The 29-year-old delivered an assured performance between the sticks as he recorded his fourth clean sheet in 12 appearances this season, and the goalkeeper would surely become Cardiff’s number-one choice if Etheridge completes his West Ham move.
The Welsh side are unlikely to delve into the transfer market for another stopper given they already have Smithies and Joe Day to select from, so there can be little doubt that Etheridge’s exit would open the door to more playing time for Smithies.
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Loser: David Martin
Fabianski’s recent injury troubles have opened the door to more playing time for the both Martin and Roberto, but the latter’s shaky performances have resulted in Martin starting more of West Ham’s recent matches.
Etheridge’s potential arrival at the London Stadium would almost certainly limit Martin’s playing time, despite the fact the former Millwall man has often looked fairly solid during his first string of Premier League appearances at the age of 33.
Martin’s fellow back-up goalkeeper Roberto could also be considered as one of those to lose out as a result of Etheridge’s arrival, but the fact he has already made a series of errors between the sticks means it would not be a surprise to see him leave the club.