Southampton turn down Fulham’s £15m Targett bid

Southampton have rejected another offer from Fulham for their left back Matt Targett, according to the Daily Mirror.

The Whites were keen to reunite Targett with Ryan Sessegnon down their left flank following his successful loan spell at Craven Cottage last year but their offer of £15m plus additional clauses has been turned down by the Saints. That rebuff helped persuade Fulham to move on from the former England under-21 international, who made 21 appearances for the Londoners as they won promotion via the Championship play-offs last term, and Fulham now appear close to concluding a deal for Bristol City left back Joe Bryan.

Southampton boss Mark Hughes, who spent a year in charge of the Cottagers, insisted earlier in the week that the south coast club would not entertain any further offers for the 23 year-old and Southampton appear to have stuck to their word.

Fulham hold Montoya talks

Fulham are in discussions with Valencia over a possible deal to sign their Catalonian right back Martin Montoya.

The Whites are confident of seeing off concerted interest in the former Barcelona full back from Premier League rivals Southampton and Brighton and Hove Albion. Montoya, who won the Champions’ League before moving to Valencia two years ago, has slipped down the pecking order at the Mestella after his current club signed Cristiano Piccini to be their first-choice right back.

Fulham head coach Slavisa Jokanovic is keen to sign another right back after losing Ryan Fredericks to West Ham earlier this summer and he only has youth team graduates Steven Sessegnon and Marlon Fossey as possible understudies to Irish international Cyrus Christie. Montoya has made 54 appearances in his two seasons with Valencia and is reportedly attracted by the idea of a move to London, although there is still significant Spanish interest in his services as well.

The 27 year-old won seven major titles in his time at Barcelona and has previously spent time on loan at Inter Milan and Real Betis, who are apparently considering a late move to sign him for a second time.

Mitrovic will be ‘crucial,’ claims Mawson

Alfie Mawson believes Aleksandar Mitrovic will be ‘crucial’ to Fulham’s prospects as they return to the Premier League this season.

Fulham’s new signing might be set to miss at least the first month of the new season but he has enjoyed watching the former Newcastle United striker pick up off where he left off at Craven Cottage last term. Mawson, speaking to Talksport this afternoon, shared his enjoyment of Mitrovic’s pre-season exploits and believes his fellow centre halves won’t be looking forward to facing Fulham’s number nine this season:

He is a big man! He’s 23 years old and built like a body builder and is as strong as an ox. Against Celta Vigo on Saturday, their centre half has looked to go tight on him – but he’s thrown the defender off the ball and wrapped one in from about 25 yards. It’s always good to have that because this club is renowned for its ball playing ability but to have a target man like him will be crucial this season.

The former Swansea City defender also feels that German winger Andre Schurrle is ready to make his mark on English football again after an underwhelming spell with Borussia Dortmund.

Schurrle obviously speaks for himself. He’s a World Cup winner and has played at some top clubs. He’s been in London in his career already and he’s made a decision to come to a club that is more suited to him. We’re expecting a lot from him and he’s going to thrive off that.

Fossey catches the eye

With his great shock of curly hair, no-one is likely to miss Marlon Fossey on a football field. The American defender has been talked out of as one of the coming generation for some time at Motspur Park and, with the summer departure of Ryan Fredericks and a space in the first-team squad as Cyrus Christie’s understudy up for grabs, he couldn’t have timed his fine pre-season any better.

Fossey looked more than useful three weeks ago in Fulham’s first summer outing at the EBB Stadium when he slotted in at full-back against Reading, but last night with Italian outfit Sampdoria – and their noisy band of travelling supporters – would prove an entirely different test. The young full-back wasn’t overrawed by the step up in class. In fact, it looked like he relished it.

His sense of adventure on the ball means he meets the first set of Slavisa Jokanovic’s criteria when it comes to running the rule over a full back. Whenever he got the ball last night, Fossey was looking to drive forward and his close control means he can carry it a long way. An intelligent runner and ready of the game, Fossey is a real athlete – like most modern full backs – and he’s got a pair of fine feet that can carry him deep into opposition territory.

He was seriously tested as a defensive operator during his time on the field as Sampdoria took a little while to get into their groove, but his positioning looked solid and you could see that the 19 year-old had really benefited from training with the senior squad. Jokanovic had him training with the first-team towards the tail end of last season and he’s really kicked on over the summer. If this friendly was a shoot-out between Fossey and Steven Sessegnon, who lined up on the other flank, to see who could hold down the right back duties, then the young American appeared more impressive. That’s not to say that Sessegnon was in any way poor, but Fossey’s emergence has been something of a surprise given that the Sessegnon twins have already got more than a taste of first-team football.

Aside from Andre Schurrle, who had another encouraging cameo on the opposite flank, Fossey was Fulham’s most frequent threat in the final third and the Italian appeared frightened by his energetic and endeavour. The consistency of his crossing might have been the only negative, with several either overhit or cut out at the near post, although he did provide the Whites’ most promising moment in the second half – flashing a measured low ball across the six-yard box that Dennis Praet nearly turned into his own net.

We may look back at this period in Fulham’s history in a few years as a golden age for the output of the club’s academy. Fossey has all the attributes to go on to the highest level and, if his mature displays during the summer are anything to go by, he might make his impact sooner rather than later. An eye-catching cameo against strong Serie A opposition means the right back certainly seized his opportunity last night.

Mitrovic: ‘My heart wanted Fulham’

Aleksandar Mitrovic has revealed that his heart wanted him to return to Craven Cottage – and such was his desire to make a permanent move to Fulham that he didn’t talk to any other potential suitors.

The Serbian striker finally completed his drawn out transfer from Newcastle United this afternoon, signing a five-year contract at Craven Cottage to be reunited with Fulham head coach Slavisa Jokanovic. The move follows protracted negotiations between the two clubs over their valuation of the 23 year-old after Mitrovic helped fire the Whites to promotion last year.

Mitrovic quickly became a firm favourite with the fans – scoring 12 goals in 20 games as Fulham went up via the play-offs and he told FulhamFCTV of his delight at finalising his move to west London:

I told my agent, my brother, my family that this is the only club I want to join. We didn’t even talk. Especially after the World Cup a few clubs were interested but my heart wanted to come here and to continue where we stopped. I didn’t talk to the other clubs. I know that I want to be here.

Thanks to Fulham and their fans, the people who work in the club to make this come true. They were really passionate. I thought it might happen sooner [than it did]. It was not easy but in the end we did it and I’m here. I am happy and proud to officially be a Fulham player.

When I came here I fitted into the club like I’d been here lots of years. I don’t need time to settle in, I just want to play football and try to make big things with this amazing club.

The deal to bring the powerful forward to London on a permanent basis is the Premier League new boys’ latest big-money capture in a summer of serious spending. Mitrovic, who is believed to have cost in the region of £20m, becomes Fulham’s fifth summer signing joining fellow new recruits Jean-Michael Seri, Maxime Le Marchand, Fabri and Andre Schürrle.