West Ham United are not considering a move for Cardiff City goalkeeper Neil Etheridge at this time, according to Claret & Hugh.
The reliable Hammers news source claims that a report from Football Insider earlier this week that the club were planning a move for the 62-cap Philippines international is wide of the mark.
Manuel Pellegrini is looking for an experienced shot-stopper to serve as back up to first choice Lukasz Fabianski next season, but no longer than that.
That’s because the club see academy product Nathan Trott as the future and are expecting him to compete with Fabianski from the 2020/21 season onwards.
Etheridge always seemed like a strange name to be linked with West Ham considering the criteria that the club have laid out for any goalkeeper signing this summer. The Hammers want an experienced shot-stopper to come in for a year and provide back up to Fabianski, but they don’t need someone to be their first choice or to stay at the club long-term. So Etheridge, a ‘keeper who is now proven at Premier League level over the last season, doesn’t really fit the bill. Firstly, he’d be unlikely to leave Cardiff for a spot on the West Ham bench, nor would he be keen to go to a situation where he’s only going to be required for a year. Trott is clearly thought of as the future at the London Stadium, whereas Fabianski is firmly installed as the first choice for the next few years. Honestly, the club really don’t need Etheridge. For the player, too, he’s much better off in Wales. He’s the number one over there and will continue to be for some time to come.