By Alan Nixon

Redknapp set to grab ex-England stopper, who has spent this season on loan at West Brom, because ageless Friedel has to retire eventually… right?

No.1 choice: Tottenham line up Birmingham keeper Foster

Ben Foster has been earmarked as Spurs’ long-term replacement for veteran keeper Brad Friedel.

Tottenham have been checking on Foster’s form during his season-long loan spell at West Brom, and are poised to snatch him from parent club Birmingham.

Foster, 29, is the leading candidate to succeed Friedel, who has been outstanding since Harry Redknapp signed him, but is entering the final year of his contract.

Birmingham are ready to sell their former England keeper after being beaten by Blackpool in the Championship play-offs and the Baggies are unlikely to be able to afford him, opening the door for a Spurs swoop.

However, Foster would have to compete for the jersey with Friedel.

Boss Redknapp rates the American – who is 41 next week – so highly that he does not want to upset him, but Foster is one of the few keepers good enough to challenge the old warhorse.­

Tottenham plan to make a move now, rather than risk losing Foster to a rival.