Keeper Robinson set to reunite with Allardyce at Upton Park

By Joe Bernstein


Former England goalkeeper Paul Robinson is set for a reunion with Sam Allardyce by returning to the Premier League with West Ham in January.

Hammers boss Allardyce, who worked with Robinson when he was manager at Blackburn Rovers, is set to beat off competition from Fulham to land 33-year-old Robinson who will be allowed to leave Ewood Park once Rovers tie up a 500,000 deal for Tottenham's Brad Friedel.

Robinson, England's first-choice goalkeeper at the 2006 World Cup goalkeeper in Germany, will provide competition at Upton Park for Jussi Jaaskelainen, 37, who has shown recent signs of fallability.

Bad times: Paul Robinson after relegation was confirmed for Blackburn

Bad times: Paul Robinson after relegation was confirmed for Blackburn

Robinson has been waiting for a chance to return to the Premier League after being relegated with Rovers last season.

Fulham are seeking a replacement for veteran Mark Schwarzer but Allardyce is firmly in pole position having worked well with Robinson in the past.

Tottenham knocked back a request from Blackburn to sign Friedel on loan last week but the veteran American is likely to push for a move in January as his first-team opportunities at White Hart Lane get harder following the arrival of French No1 Hugo Lloris.

Blackburn will give 41-year-old Friedel a coaching role at the club in addition to regular first-team football until their England under-20 international Jake Kean is ready to take the step up.

Robinson has been at the top of English football for nearly 15 years after coming to prominence at Leeds United where he faced Barcelona in the Champions League as a tenager.

Looking for cover: West Ham boss Sam Allardyce

Looking for cover: West Ham boss Sam Allardyce

He went on to play for Spurs and Blackburn and won 41 England caps, keeping David James out of the side when Sven Goran Eriksson was manager.

Two other international goalkeepers could also be on the move next month. Norway No1 Rune Jarstein, who could be in goal for his country at the next World Cup in Brazil, is close to securing a deal with Steve Bruce to join Hull City.

And Aston Villa's Republic of Ireland goalkeeper Shay Given is on a list of players that manager Paul Lambert is willing to sell to reduce the wage bill at Villa Park.

Given retired from international football after Euro 2012 to concentrate on his club football but has since been replaced in the Villa team by Brad Guzan.

Lambert is looking to rebuild Villa and will also listen to offers for Richard Dunne, Stephen Warnock, Darren Bent and Charles N'Zogbia.