Darren Randolph has become a popular figure during his time with Middlesbrough.
The 32-year-old moved to Teesside in the summer of 2017 and proved himself as one of the best goalkeepers in the Championship with a string of fine performances which made Middlesbrough’s defence among the strongest in the league.
After two-and-a-half years the goalkeeper faces an uncertain future having been linked with a move away from the Riverside Stadium.
Here, discussing Randolph’s future in more detail, is FLW’s Phil Spencer…
Why is Darren Randolph in the headlines?
“The goalkeeper is attracting interest with regards to a move away from Middlesbrough.
“Reports from 90min.com have linked Randolph with a move to West Ham United, and even suggested that the Premier League side have already opened talks regarding a move.
“Whether these reports are accurate remains to be seen.”
What is Middlesbrough’s stance on Darren Randolph’s future?
“Darren Randolph is undoubtedly Middlesbrough’s number one goalkeeper.
“In an ideal world they would like to keep him, but with the Teessiders struggling and the stopper having just 18 months left on his deal, it may be a case of maximising sell-on potential.
“Middlesbrough don’t need to sell to comply with Financial Fair Play but with the squad in the middle of a rebuild any funds generated could be used to help fund future additions.
“It’s also worth noting that Aynsley Pears has been very impressive in deputy so far this term, meaning that the club will feel confident of having a ready-made replacement.”
Does Darren Randolph want to leave?
“We can’t know for certain but it appears that way.
Middlesbrough are struggling in the Championship and with reported interest from higher up the food chain it’s only natural to have your head turned.
“I don’t get the impression that Randolph is a disruptive figure, but if there’s an opportunity to find a deal to suit all parties then that’s surely the best option.”
Where would Darren Randolph fit in at West Ham?
“It’s hard to see the 32-year-old being first choice at the London Stadium.
“Lukasz Fabianski is number one, while David Martin has been used as a back-up more recently.
“Reports have suggested that the Hammers could sell their other goalkeeper Roberto and move for another stopper, but that simply suggests that if Randolph was to move then he would likely be second or even third choice goalkeeper.
“But have played their previously it may be a move that works from more of a personal point of view.”
How much is he worth?
“It’s a difficult question due to the circumstances of the deal.
“West Ham aren’t going to pay top dollar for a 32-year-old who won’t be first choice, while Middlesbrough’s situation means that they are unlikely to hold out for a huge fee.
“I’d imagine that a fee in the region of £4-5million would be enough to get a deal done.”
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Could the goalkeeper leave the club in January?
“That’s what is being suggested.
“It’s hardly an ideal time for Middlesbrough to lose the stopper, but if there’s an opportunity to get a deal done then that’s what could happen.
“Aynsley Pears has been featuring for the first team during Darren Randolph’s time on the sidelines anyway so the timing of such a deal might not actually be the end of the world for Boro.”