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Hammers in 'keeper link

Filed: Wednesday, 7th July 2010
By: Staff Writer

West Ham being linked with a move for Dutch goalkeeper Piet Velthuizen.

The 23-year-old once-capped international currently plays for Eredivisie outfit VItesse and was linked with a move to Arsenal last season. But according to reports emerging from Holland this morning, the highly-rated goalkeeper is set for talks with West Ham over a possible permanent switch.

A story on Dutch website Voetbal Centraal insists that Velthuizen - who is out of contract next summer - is 'close to a move to West Ham United' and will almost certainly leave his club this summer due to their perilous financial situation.

The player made his first team debut for VItesse on the final day of 2006 and became a first team regular the following season, during which he signed his current four-year deal. In September 2009, following appearances at the 2008 Olympics and both under-21 and 'B' level he made his debut appearance for the national squad as a second half substitute in a 3-0 friendly win over Japan.

Described in 2008 as 'one of the most promising 'keepers in Europe' by Sky Sports, Velthuizen was being being linked with clubs such as Feyenoord and Arsenal, who were at that stage seeking a replacement for Jens Lehman. However he failed to make the Dutch national squad for the current World Cup Finals, with Maarten Stekelenburg (Ajax), Michel Vorm (Utrecht) and Sander Boschker (Twente) preferred ahead of him.

* West Ham are also being linked with a move for Everton youngster Dan Gosling, who is being allowed to leave the club following an unresolved contract wrangle.

21-year-Gosling was told last week that he would be allowed to leave Goodison Park on a free transfer following a Premier League ruling. So far Newcastle and Sunderland have already expressed an interest.

Two deals mentioned in recent days have however been dismissed as pure speculation - those involving Ghana star Asamoah Gyan and former Arsenal and Liverpool winger Jermaine Pennant.

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