Fulham are close to completing the signing of former Bolton Wanderers goalkeeper Andy Lonergan on a free transfer, according to the Bolton News.
The 31 year-old is a free agent after being released by Bolton at the end of the season and would provide experienced competition for Marcus Bettinelli, who established himself as Kit Symons’ first choice last season. Lonergan made 62 appearances in his three years with Wanderers, including 32 during this season, but was allowed to move on as the club continues their cost-cutting exercise. He had been brought in from Leeds United by the then Bolton boss Owen Coyle.
Lonergan, a former England Under-21 international, made his name during a ten-year spell with his hometown side Preston North End, for whom he made 232 appearances before moving to Leeds in 2011. He was twice named Preston’s player of the year by the club’s supporters and his impressive form almost led to a late call-up to the Republic of Ireland World Cup 2010 World Cup squad. He famously scored a goal from inside his own penalty area against Leicester in 2004 when his long, clearing kick bounced over the head of his opposite number Kevin Pressman.
Symons is known to be looking for experienced cover for Bettinelli, whose impressive displays in his first season in the Fulham goal earned him a call-up to the England under-21 squad for this summer’s European Championships. With Hungarian veteran Gabor Kiraly widely expected to leave Craven Cottage when his contract expires at the end of this month, Fulham had been in talks with Millwall keeper David Forde over a potential free transfer before news of their interest in Lonergan surfaced.