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Southampton agree €14m deal with Man City for Ireland goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu



Southampton have agreed a deal to sign Republic of Ireland goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu from Manchester City for €14 million plus add-ons, with Fraser Forster, who played half of Southampton’s league games last season, leaving for Tottenham Hotspur.

Bazunu, 20, will remain on England’s south coast after spending last year on loan with Portsmouth in League One, and will battle it out with Alex McCarthy for the No 1 shirt at St Mary’s.

Bazunu missed out on Ireland’s Nations League campaign with a back injury after travelling to Yerevan for the Armenia game. Caoimhín Kelleher went on to play all four games, with Bohemians’ James Talbot called up as a replacement for Bazunu.

Having broken into Stephen Kenny’s team after the loss at home to Luxembourg in March 2021, the former Shamrock Rovers goalkeeper quickly cemented his place as first choice
after some stunning saves at home to Serbia and away to Luxembourg last year.

Meanwhile, Nottingham Forest have opened talks with Manchester United with a view to signing Dean Henderson on loan with the option to buy the goalkeeper for about £20 million (€23.25).

Points of negotiation include whether an arrangement can be reached over Henderson’s salary. The 25-year-old played only three times last season – once each in the Champions League, FA Cup and Carabao Cup – as David de Gea held down the No 1 spot.

Newcastle have also expressed interest in Henderson but will not take that further unless the conditions of any transfer change.

Forest were promoted to the Premier League via the playoffs with Brice Samba as their first-choice goalkeeper. He played all but six of their Championship and playoff matches, with Ethan Horvath his understudy, but has turned down a new deal and the pursuit of Henderson indicates he could leave.

Henderson has come through the United academy and was given hope he could establish himself at the club when he played 10 of the final 12 Premier League matches of the 2020-21 season. But De Gea was preferred again last August by Ole Gunnar Solskjær and his form meant he was retained by Michael Carrick and Ralf Rangnick after the Norwegian was sacked.

Henderson has spent seasons on loan at Shrewsbury and Sheffield United, including one in the Premier League. In November 2020 he won his only England cap and he was included in the Euro 2020 squad before withdrawing injured. Manchester United also have the 36-year-old Tom Heaton as back-up.

West Ham are concerned their bid to sign Alphonse Areola could be derailed by Newcastle’s interest in the Paris Saint-Germain goalkeeper. Areola is expected to leave PSG after spending last season on loan at West Ham, who are hopeful of making the deal permanent for about £11 million (€12.75 million). David Moyes relied on him during his side’s run to the last four of the Europa League and believes the France international can challenge Lukasz Fabianski for the No 1 spot.

However, West Ham could miss out on Areola after it emerged Newcastle are tracking the 29-year-old. Newcastle want a goalkeeper to compete with Martin Dubravka and their financial power could give them an advantage.

Fulham have also looked at Areola, who spent the 2020-21 season on loan there, but are unlikely to be able to afford his wages. West Ham have led the race and it would be a blow for Moyes if he missed out on a player who settled well. An alternative option could be Nick Pope, who could leave Burnley after their relegation. – Guardian



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