England goalkeeper Robert Green could stay in London when his six-year association with West Ham ends this summer, with both QPR and Tottenham rumoured to be interested in bringing him in on a free transfer.
After weeks of speculation, it was unofficially confirmed by both co-owner David Gold and his partner David Sullivan’s son on Twitter that Green had turned down their offer of a new contract to replace the one expiring imminently.
Amidst demands from fans to “keep him at all costs” and “give him what he wants”, Gold revealed that: “Green is a free agent; he has chosen to move on. Matthew Upson did the same thing.”
The news, while somewhat expected after the shot-stopper linked up with the England squad without having agreed an extension, is a significant blow to the Irons’ 12/5-rated chances of surviving their first season back in the Premier League.
Though the former Norwich custodian is regularly ridiculed by rival fans for his mistake for England at the last World Cup, he has been West Ham’s most impressive and dependable performer since arriving from Carrow Road in 2006.
His likely replacement will be manager Sam Allardyce’s long-term number one at Bolton, Jussi Jaaskelainen, who is leaving the club following their relegation and being displaced by Adam Bogdan as first choice.
Other candidates are Manuel Almunia, who had a successful loan spell at the Boleyn Ground, Paul Robinson and Craig Gordon, but negotiations with Jaaskelainen are thought to be at an advanced stage.
QPR are considered the favourites to sign Green, given their ability to both improve his wages and provide first-team football, whereas Spurs – who can offer European action – are anticipated to stick with veteran Brad Friedel.
Another option that has been mentioned are 50/1 Champions League newcomers Malaga, however the extent of their interest is as yet unclear.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.