Goalkeeper Paulsen linked with multi-million dollar move to EPL’s Bournemouth

English Premier League club Bournemouth are reportedly leading a chase to sign Wellington Phoenix goalkeeper Alex Paulsen.

UK’s Sky Sports say Bournemouth — owned by Auckland FC’s major shareholders, the Black Knight Group — are “leading the race” to sign Paulsen, with EPL rivals Chelsea and Liverpool also interested.

The Sky Sports report says the initial fee on the table is £850,000 (NZ$1.77 million), which could rise to around £2 million (NZ$4.76 million).

Paulsen (21) has had a breakout season in the men’s A-League, winning awards and accolades for his performances in the Phoenix’s best-ever season in the competition.

These include being named co-winner of the A-League’s Young Player of the Year, Goalkeeper of the Year and the fans’ Player of the Year.

READ MORE: More accolades for ‘keeper Alex Paulsen as men’s A-League awards announced >>>>

The New Zealand U-23 ‘keeper carried off his club’s own awards for men’s Players’ Player of the Year and shared the members’ U-23 Player of the Year with Macey Fraser.

READ MORE: The Wellington Phoenix end-of-season awards >>>>

His performances earned him an invitation to join the All Whites squad and to play for the A-League All Stars in their match against English Premier League club Newcastle United.

If Paulsen signs for Bournemouth, he would join a strong contingent of goalkeepers, including Brazil’s Neto, Mark Travers and Will Dennis, already on the books.

Bournemouth’s loan of Romanian international ‘keeper Andrei Radu has ended with his return to parent club Inter Mlan, while another ‘keeper, Republic of Ireland international Darren Randolph, is now out of contract.

One option for Bournemouth is to sign Paulsen and then loan him back to A-League expansion club Auckland FC.

The Auckland club have revealed their first four signings, and start their pre-season training on July 1.

READ MORE: Three All Whites and U-23 international unveiled as first signings for Auckland FC >>>>

More football stories