After losing his starting spot at West Ham United towards the end of last season, Darren Randolph may face an even tougher task in winning it back if the club bring in Joe Hart in the coming days.
Hart had been linked with the London club following his underwhelming season in Italy as it was perfectly clear that Pep Guardiola saw no future for him at Man City, but the deal is now expected to be completed in the coming days.
Joe Hart expected to join @WestHamUtd on loan in next few days.
— Jim White (@JimWhite) July 13, 2017
Bad news for Randolph is bad news for Ireland, as the Bray man has established himself as Martin O'Neill's #1 goalkeeper in recent times, with a mistake against Uruguay in June's friendly the only notable error in an otherwise solid tenure between the sticks.
It also contradicts West Ham manager Slaven Bilic's insistence back in March that he had no desire to sign a goalkeeper, as he was happy with both Randolph and Adrian, the man who started and finished the season in goal for the Hammers.
We have been linked with many players in the last three transfer windows, including Chelsea goalkeeper Asmir Begovic.
In those three windows, though, I have said a few times that the only position in the team I have absolutely no interest in discussing is the goalkeeping spot.
I was happy — and I am still happy — with Adrian and Darren Randolph.
If you ask me whether they will both still be here next season, I would say yes.
You can never be 100 per cent certain in football, of course, and maybe one of them will knock on the door and say he is unhappy but even if that happens, I will try to persuade them to stay at the club.
You can never be 100% certain in football, and it seems that the idea of Hart playing his football at London's Olympic Stadium next season was enough to convince the powers that be at West Ham to make a move.
His wages had reportedly been the stumbling block for a few Premier League teams that were said to be interested, but clearly West Ham value him enough to work something out.
It remains to be seen whether or not Randolph will stay and fight for his place, but judging by the manner in which the club's fans turned on him last season, he may well look to explore other options.