West Ham United are ‘close’ to landing Fulham right-back Ryan Fredericks on a free transfer, according to ExWHUemployee on Twitter.
The defender’s current deal at Craven Cottage expires at the end of the campaign and he is thought to be a high-priority target for the Hammers.
He is top of our list yes! Apparently the deal is quite close to being agreed! He will provide solid competition to Byram and Zabaletta and brings a lot of pace to the position https://t.co/nDCZAVOOZT
— ExWHUemployee (@ExWHUemployee) February 11, 2018
Fredericks was a trainee with London rivals Tottenham Hotspur and made four appearances for the Lilywhites after turning professional in 2010.
The 25-year-old also spent time out on loan at Brentford, Millwall and Middlesbrough before signing for Bristol City at the beginning of August 2015.
However, his time at Ashton Gate was short-lived and he left after just 26 days and five appearances to join Fulham, citing personal reasons as the motive for the move.
A regular in the Whites’ side over the past two-and-a-half seasons, Fredericks has greatly improved the attacking side of his game and this term has registered seven assists in his 30 league outings.
His team are unbeaten since December 16 and have powered into contention for the play-off places in the Championship, sitting fifth in the table, just seven points behind Aston Villa in the second automatic promotion spot.
Fredericks would provide competition for the right-back role at West Ham, with Pablo Zabaleta the current incumbent and Sam Byram acting as the Argentine’s deputy.
Whilst both are capable footballers, Fredericks would add pace and perhaps offer more as an offensive threat down that flank.
Zabaleta has been a reliable Premier League performer for years with Manchester City and now the Irons, but at 33 he has a limited shelf life.
As for Byram, he was another player snapped up from the second tier but has failed to kick on as hoped in claret and blue since his move from Leeds United in January 2016.
Fredericks would be a long-term solution to fill the position, although a move may be complicated if Fulham achieve promotion this season.