West Ham face a battle to hold on to highly-rated keeper Robert Green with Fulham interested in the England star.

Green, 27 today, has been a shock absentee from the Upton Park line-up for the last two games against Brighton and the Cottagers.

The former Norwich stopper is also understood to have been stunned at being named among the summer signings made by Alan Pardew criticised by new Hammers boss Alan Curbishley earlier this month.

Green has impressed despite West Ham’s problems, particularly in wins over Arsenal and Manchester United.

And Fulham boss Chris Coleman is now ready to test the Hammers’ resolve to keep Green – signed for £2million from the Canaries last August – after having a £2.5m bid for Hearts keeper Craig Gordon turned down.

Green was left out of the West Ham team for the 3-0 FA Cup third-round win against Brighton, with Curbs insisting the stopper was being rested.

But the keeper was then surprised to be left out of last week’s 3-3 Premiership draw against Fulham. Green was replaced in that match by Roy Carroll. The former Manchester United keeper, who has been in The Priory battling drink and gambling problems this season, went on to have a disappointing game.