Fulham have furthered plans to play at Stamford Bridge after the Premier League confirmed that Loftus Road will require a series of improvements in order to stage top flight football next term.

The Press Association confirmed that the Whites have identified the home of Chelsea as their preferred base from next August and that talks between the local rivals have intensified. Chairman Mohamed Al-Fayed remains set to seek a permanent home away from Craven Cottage, which appears to have already hosted its final Fulham fixture.

Fulham confirmed that they would play a second season at Loftus Road earlier today – but their future beyond 2004 remains shrouded in mystery, with the Premier League understood to have written to the Cottagers confirming that QPR’s current media arrangements and the since of the dressing rooms are not of a sufficient standard.

A Premier League spokesperson said:

“We said Fulham would have to make certain improvements if they were to stay there beyond next season, in order to fulfil the requirements of Premier League club stadia.”

Fulham’s bid to become tenants of their local rivals is both controversial and challenging. Current regulations around the use of Stamford Bridge prevent any other team from playing there.

A Hammersmith and Fulham council spokesperson added:

We haven’t received a formal application for a groundshare at Stamford Bridge. However, we have had general discussions with Fulham and they know exactly what we would expect from them in an application.”