Monday 22 January 2018

Ranson rules out Westwood free transfer

Keiren Westwood. Photo: Getty Images
Keiren Westwood. Photo: Getty Images

Coventry chairman Ray Ranson insists he will not let star goalkeeper Keiren Westwood leave for free next summer with a host of Barclays Premier League clubs understood to be chasing his signature.

The Republic of Ireland stopper, 25, was the subject of a failed 11th-hour bid from Tottenham for his services back in January.

Ranson has revealed no official offers have yet been received now the summer window has reopened, although he is expecting contact.

But first and foremost he is hoping to tie Westwood down to a new contract, with talks having started between the two parties towards the end of last season.

"All it is at the moment is speculation, we are desperately trying to get him to sign a new contract as he's got 12 months left," said the Sky Blues chief.

"Until he or his agent turn around to us and say he's definitely not signing a new contract then we are very optimistic.

"But there is interest in him and rightly so, he's an international goalkeeper now and he's the best goalkeeper outside the Premier League - and he's only getting better.

"So it's no surprise all the big clubs want him. We're not soliciting any firm bids but we are expecting it now the window's opened."

Asked what would happen if the situation were to remain unchanged until next summer, Ranson added: "If it gets that far then we would lose him for nothing on a Bosman free transfer - so that won't happen, I can assure you.

"We'd be forced to sell him. He won't be leaving this club for nothing, that's for certain."

New City manager Aidy Boothroyd has already stressed his desire to keep hold of Westwood as he looks to build a side capable of securing promotion from the Coca-Cola Championship.

Westwood himself has remained pretty calm about the situation, last week insisting he will not let the speculation distract him.

Prior to winning his fifth senior international cap for Ireland in their 3-0 friendly triumph over Algeria, he said: "I must have said this a thousand times, speculation is speculation. I can't do anything about speculation and I suppose the club can't do anything about speculation.

"Maybe it's just a little feather in your cap that you are doing well and people are speaking about you, but there are no bids, there's nothing like that.

"Speculation doesn't make you move clubs."

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