Fulham have had a £5.4m offer for Besiktas goalkeeper Fabri accepted, according to reports in Turkey this afternoon.
Turkish sports newspaper Fanatik claims that the Black Eagles have accepted an improved offer from the Premier League side for their 30 year-old goalkeeper and already began the task of recruiting a replacement. The Spanish custodian has been heavily linked with a move this summer as he entered the last year of his Besiktas contract and it appears as Fulham have won the race for his signature. The Whites had previously had two lower bids for Fabri rejected.
Fabri was the star of the Besiktas side that surprisingly topped their Champions’ League group last season – making a series of fine saves as the Turkish outfit went through the entire group phrase unbeaten. He had an immediate impact after moving from Deportivo La Coruna, winning the Turkish league in his first season at his new club. He has kept 27 clean sheets in 87 appearances for Beskitas, conceding 94 goals.
Fulham have moved quickly to sign an experienced goalkeeper after selling David Button to Brighton and Hove Albion on Monday. Fabri is expected to challenge current number one Marcus Bettinelli for the first-team spot as Fulham prepare for their first top flight season in four years and he has previously worked with the club’s Spanish goalkeeping Jose Sambade, who was with the Istanbul giants when the pair won the club’s first league title in thirteen years.
Fulham have made a second offer for Espanyol’s midfielder David Lopez, according to reports from Spain this morning.
The Whites have signalled their continued pursuit of Lopez, who was used in central defence by Espanyol last season, by upping their initial bid to around £18m. That detail was disclosed in an El Mundo Deportivo article which claims the west London club are determined to land their man. Fulham’s opening offer of just over £13m was swiftly rejected by Espanyol, who are believed to be open to selling Lopez as seek to cut the club’s wage bill over the summer.
Lopez, who is in his second spell at Espanyol, has also attracted interest from Real Betis so Fulham are leaving nothing to chase as they hope to close a quick deal for the versatile 28 year-old. Slavisa Jokanovic is known to be keen to strengthen his defence as Fulham prepare to return to the Premier League and Lopez could even offer depth in the defensive midfield role that was filled so capably last season by Kevin McDonald.
Espanyol have turned down an offer from Fulham for David Lopez, according to reports in Spain this evening.
Fulham tabled their bid earlier this week, but it is believed to fall significantly short of Espanyol’s valuation of their versatile defender. Lopez, who can also play as a holding midfielder, has been heavily linked with a move to Everton over the past week and has a release clause of around £35m. It is believed that Espanyol would be willing to accept offers in excess of £30m but the Spanish press reports suggest that Fulham’s initial offer was much less than that figure.
Espanyol are not averse to selling one of their key players as they strive to cut their wage bill ahead of the new campaign. There are several suitors for Lopez’s signature should he decide to leave the club with Valencia and Real Betis bidding to offer him an alternative destination within Spain and several English clubs believed to be monitoring his availability.
Lopez was a regular fixture in Espanyol’s side last year, playing more than 3,000 La Liga minutes, as the Periquitos finished the season in eleventh place. At 28, he would bring a wealth of experience to the Fulham back line and would fit Slavisa Jokanovic’s mould of a ball-playing centre back. Jokanovic is known to be keen to recruit further centre halves to the club before the August 9th transfer deadline, despite having signed Maxime Le Marchand from Nice last week.
Lopez, who came through the youth ranks at Espanyol, has had two spells with the Spanish club as well as spending two years in Serie A with Napoli. He helped the Italian club win the Coppa Italia in 2014 and was capped by Catalonia during a rare international in 2013. He still has two years to run on his current deal with Espanyol and it remains to be seen whether Fulham will return with an improved offer for the centre haf.
According to reports from Argentina, Fulham have tabled an offer for Boca Juniors defensive mdifielder Wilmar Barrios that would meet the Colombian’s release clause.
Earlier this week, there were widespread reports that a proposed to Europe had been shelved until the new year. Several English clubs including Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur and Everton had been heavily linked with a move for the commanding 24 year-old midfielder, whose strong performances for Colombia during the World Cup had increased interest in his services. Barrios had reportedly agreed to remain with Boca until the end of their Copa Libertadores campaign but Fulham’s willingness to pay the £16m that would release the player from his current contract would signify a new development.
Reports in south American claim that Boca are attempting to negotiate a new contract with representatives of Barrios to prevent him moving, although the player himself has made it known he would be interested in a move to the Premier League. The same reports suggest that Fulham’s rumoured interest in the Manchester City youngster Oleksandar Zinchenko represents a back-up option if Barrios, a powerful deep-lying midfielder, decides to rebuff their overtures and remain with Boca.
Barrios, who spent three years with Colombian outfit Deportes Tolima helping them win the Colombian Cup in 2014, has made 46 appearances for Boca in two years in Argentina. He was a key part of the Boca side that won the Argentinian Premier Division in 2016/2017 and his composed midfield play has gradually gained more international recognition. He was part of the Colombian squad at the 2016 Olympics and has now won thirteen senior caps for his country, culminating in a series of excellent displays during the World Cup in Russia – where Colombia were eliminated by England in the second round after a penalty shoot-out.
Fulham’s interest in Barrios is another indication that they are pursuing high-level targets as part of their summer recruitment. The newly-promoted side already pulled off a real coup with the signing of Nice midfielder Jean-Michael Seri last week, although their move for Barrios is almost certain to spark concerted interest from across Europe. The Whites are short of options at the base of their midfield, with Scottish international Kevin McDonald – thought to be in talks over a new contract at Fulham – yet to feature during pre-season.
A youthful Fulham side were well beaten by Fenerbahce as the Whites’ pre-season tour of France got off to a poor start this afternoon.
Slavisa Jokanovic selected a young side full of talent from the club’s much-vaunted academy as the Whites’ first-teamers continued to work on their fitness ahead of the big kick off next month. Marek Rodak was handed another start in goal, with Marlon Fossey and Steven Sessegnon operating at full back, whilst Ibrahima Cisse – who was on the periphery of the senior squad last term – provided the experience alongside talented teenager Matt O’Riley and American international Luca de la Torre in central midfield. Estonian international Mattias Kait was used as a false nine for the second game in succession, with Congolese winger Neeskens Kebano skippering an inexperienced eleven.
The young Fulham side were in the game for the first half an hour, making a promising start when Cisse, Jon Dagur Thorsteinsson and Kait combined impressively but Kebano was shut down by a number of Fenerbache defenders as soon as he looked to pull the trigger. Steven Sessegnon then showed attacking prowess reminiscent of his twin brother darting in between a host of would-be tacklers and firing in a dangerous shot that was deflected wide. Fenerbahce began to get into the game after a quarter of an hour with Brazilian attacking midfielder Giuliano shooting wide from an acute angle and Aatif Chahechouhe placing a shot agonisingly wide of the far post.
The warning sides were there for Fulham and it was no surprise when their Turkish opponents took the lead on 28 minutes. Former QPR full-back Mauricio Isla got forward down the right wing and rifled over a low cross that a predatory Giuliano guided past a helpless Rodak and into the net. Fulham spurned a couple of good chances to find an equaliser with Kebano slamming a free-kick into the wall and de la Torre using a hand to control the ball in a promising position, but Jokanovic’s charges went 2-0 just before the break.
A spell of patient possession culminated with left-back Hasan Ali surging into the box before keeping his composure impressively to fire an unstoppable effort past Rodak low into the net. The Turkish side were technically impressive and proved clinical in the Fulham box, offering a tough lesson to some of the Whites’ youngsters on the harsh realities of senior football.
Rodak, so impressive on loan at Rotherham last season, produced an excellent save to prevent Fenerbahce from adding a third seven minutes after the restart. A through ball sent winger Alper Potak in on goal, but Fulham’s Slovakian goalkeeper did very well to stand up for as long as possible and pull of a fine reaction stop. The Whites nearly found a way back in the contest through O’Riley, comfortably their most impressive performer, but his low 20-yarder was easily fielded by Carlos Kameni in the Fenerbache goal.
Jokanovic rung the changes after 65 minutes introducing Marcus Bettinelli, Cyrus Christie, Denis Odoi, Tom Cairney, Aboubakar Kamara and Ryan Sessegnon amongst others. Sessegnon had a good opportunity with his very first touch after de la Torre committed several defenders during a purposeful run, but the recently-introduced winger saw his shot blocked by the Fenerbahce defence. Bettinelli’s first taste of pre-season action soured when he let a cross from Ozan Tufan drift over him and into the net for Fener’s third goal.
Fulham dominated possession for much of the second period but struggled to create many clear-cut chances. Christie got to the byline with timing running out but neither Rui Fonte or Tyrese Francois were able to convert the Irish international’s wicked cross and, in the final action of the game, Sessegnon was flagged offside as he looked destined to turn home Kamara’s speculative strike for a consolation goal. Jokanovic will hope his side improve ahead of Saturday’s game against Lyon at the Stade Pierre Rajon.
FENERBACHE (4-1-2-3): Volkan (Kameni 45); Isla (Ozbayrakli 45), Hasan Ali (Köybasi 45) , Skrtel, Neustadter; Mehmet Topuz (Tufan 65); Elif Elmas, Josef; Alper, Aatif (Alici 65), Giuliano. Subs (not used): Mert Zeybk, Kose, Ozer, Ucan, Samed Karakoc, Kadioglu, Kot.
BOOKED: Hasan Ali, Aatif.
GOALS: Giuliano (28), Hasan Ali (42), Tufan (75).
FULHAM (4-3-3): Rodak (Bettinelli 65); Fossey, S. Sessegnon (Christie 65), Djalo (Odoi 65), Jenz (Le Marchand 76); Cisse (Cairney 65), O’Riley (Francois 76), de la Torre (Johansen 76); Kebano (Kamara 65), Thorsteinsson (Sessegnon 65), Kait (Fonte 65).
Fulham are set to offer £8m for the Southampton full back Matt Targett, according to a Daily Mirror report this afternoon.
The Whites haven’t given up hope of being reunited with the former England under-21 international who spent the second half of last season on loan at Craven Cottage, despite having a bid for the left back rejected last month. Targett was reportedly angry at not being able to discuss a permanent return to London and is unwilling to sit on the Southampton bench behind first choice Ryan Bertrand at St. Mary’s this season.
Slavisa Jokanovic has made the recruitment of a left back a major target during the summer as he wants to be able to play talented teenager Ryan Sessegnon on the left wing when Fulham return to the Premier League next month. Fulham have failed in a bid to land Werder Bremen’s Swedish international Ludgwig Augustinsson, who they scouted during the recent World Cup in Russia, and are now reviving their long-running pursuit of a permanent deal for Targett.
The attack-minded full back, who struck up a great understanding with Sessegnon down the left flank during his successful loan spell last term, made 21 appearances for Fulham as Jokanovic’s side won promotion via the Championship play-offs. Eastleigh-born Targett, who came through the ranks at Southampton, has made 42 first-team appearances for the Saints but enjoyed his taste of regular first-team football and now has ambitions to prove himself worth a starting place at Premier League level.
Fulham have approached Swiss club Young Boys about a potential move for their full-back Kevin Mbabu, according to various reports this morning.
The Whites are eager to strengthen their squad in that position after the summer departure of last season’s first choice Ryan Fredericks to West Ham. Slavisa Jokanovic currently only has Cyrus Christie, signed from Middlesbrough last January, and youth-team graduates Marlon Fossey and Steven Sessegnon to choose from and Fulham’s recruitment team have been scouring Europe for potential signings.
Mbabu is understood to be open to a return to England, after enduring a frustration spell with Newcastle United. The former Swiss youth international made just three league appearances during his three years on Tyneside and was a regular starter for Young Boys in the Swiss Super League last season. He helped Young Boys win their first domestic title in 32 years and was named in the Swiss provisional squad for the World Cup this summer, narrowly missing out on the trip to Russia.
This morning’s report claim that Fulham have made an initial enquiry as to Mbabu’s availability and are expected to follow up with a formal bid shortly. The 23 year-old has two years to run on his current Young Boys contract – so the Whites will need to come up with an attractive offer if they are intent on pursuing their interest. The Swiss side have reportedly slapped a £10m price tag on Mbabu, with Basel also eager to sign the attacking right-back.
Aleksandar Mitrovic will complete his protracted transfer to Fulham after Newcastle United when he returns from a family holiday, according to the Evening Standard.
Fulham made Mitrovic their top summer target after his outstanding performances on loan at Craven Cottage last season, where he scored twelve goals in 20 appearances as the Whites won promotion back to the Premier League via the Championship play-offs. The Serbian striker was declared surplus to requirements by Rafa Benitez, but Newcastle chairman Mike Ashley has been holding out for around £20m before sanctioning his departure from St. James’ Park.
Reports in recent days had suggested that both Fenerbache and Real Betis were interested in hijacking Fulham’s proposed deal for Mitrovic, but the London newspaper claims that the 23 year-old forward has made his preference clear. Mitrovic, who scored once for Serbia at this summer’s World Cup, believes he played the best football of his career at Fulham and his closeness to his compatriot Slavisa Jokanovic has played a big part in his decision to make his move to London permanent.
The Standard also suggests that Fulham are close to agreeing a contract extension with Jokanovic ahead of their return to the top flight. Jokanovic had demanded that the Whites match his ambitions in the summer transfer window and with the recruitment of Ivorian international Jean-Michael Seri, who had been coveted by a number of leading English and European sides, vice chairman Tony Khan has lived up to those expectations. The club are hopeful that Jokanovic will put pen to paper on a long-term deal in the coming days.
Fulham have had a £4.5m bid for Besiktas goalkeeper Fabri rejected by the Turkish club, according to reports this afternoon.
The Whites have stepped up their efforts to sign a new keeper after selling David Button to Brighton and Hove Albion last night. Turkish website Sporx claims that the Whites tabled a bid of £4.5m and it was swiftly rejected by Beskitas, who value their experienced goalkeeper at something closer to £7m. But with the 30 year-old entering the last year of contract, it is unlikely that Beskitas will be willing to risk losing him for nothing.
Fulham saw their opening offer of around £4m turned down last week but they have moved to the front of the queue in the race to sign Fabri, with a number of European clubs having been monitoring his situation. The popular goalkeeper helped Besiktas win the Turkish title in 2017 and starred in last season’s Champions League. He has made 86 appearances in two seasons since moving to Istanbul from Deportivo La Coruna in 2016.
The 6ft 1in custodian, who has also played for Real Valladolid and Real Betis, narrowly missed out on Uruguay’s World Cup squad after announcing he had dual nationality earlier this year. He would provide stiff competition for Marcus Bettinelli, who usurped Button in the battle for Fulham’s number one shirt after impressing when he returned to the first team just before Christmas.
Fulham have made a £1.3m for Espanyol goalkeeper Roberto Jimenez, according to reports from Spain.
The 32 year-old goalkeeper spent last season on loan with Malaga, keeping six clean sheets in 34 league appearances for the Anchovies, although the club were relegated having finished rock bottom of La Liga. The experienced goalkeeper is likely to leave La Rosaleda this summer as he is deemed surplus to requirements and Malaga are looking to reduce their wage bill ahead of the new season.
Jimenez, a former Spanish under-21 international more commonly known as Roberto, began his career with Atletico Madrid and returned to his first club in 2009. He was part of the Atletico squad that famously reached the Europa League final the following year, although spent the second year of the season helping Real Zaragoza avoid relegation from the La Liga on loan. The goalkeeper then endured a disappointing spell at Benfica, before making a return to Zaragoza as the number one goalkeeper and ensuring the Aragonese stayed up on the final day of the season.
Greek giants Olympiakos signed Roberto on loan in 2013 and the goalkeeper helped the club when back-to-back domestic titles. On the European stage, Roberto turned in an inspired performance to keep a clean sheet against his former club Benfica in the Champions’ League and produced a brilliant display in a 1-0 win over Juventus in the same competition the following year, but Olympiakos failed to get out of the group stages on both occasions.
The Spanish press reports claim that Roberto would be offered the same wage as he currently earns at Espanyol and that he would become Fulham’s number one goalkeeper, usurping academy graduate Marcus Bettinelli ahead of the Whites’ return to the Premier League next month. Fulham are definitely in the market for a new keeper, with David Button having completed a move to Brighton and Hove Albion earlier this evening. It remains to be seen whether both Espanyol and Roberto will agree to the proposed deal – or whether Fulham will look to secure other targets.