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Chris Coleman revealed Fulham are close to agreeing a deal to keep Japan midfielder Junichi Inamoto on a permanent basis.

Inamoto failed to make an impression at Arsenal three years ago, but has developed his game enormously with the Cottagers.

The 24-year-old is in his second season on loan with Fulham, but his Japanese club Gamba Osaka were reported to be seeking another £2.5million for his permanent transfer having already charged £1million for each season he has been borrowed.

However, Fulham boss Coleman today maintained the two clubs might not be so far away from cutting a deal for the World Cup star.

‘I understand there has been a stumbling block with Gamba Osaka, but I think the news is they might come down in their asking price,’ said Coleman.

‘If they come down, and we can meet that, then I would be delighted because we would love to have him here next season.

‘I don’t think the gap is as far as it was – I think there could be something done.

‘I am a lot more optimistic now than I was two or three weeks ago, but we will have to wait and see what happens.

‘He has proved to himself that he can play in the Premiership and if we could do a deal with Gamba Osaka I would be delighted.’