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Fulham have released a statement this morning denying claims made by Portsmouth chairman Milan Mandaric and defending their conduct after successfully completing the signing of Papa Bouba Diop.

Fulham’s statement reads as follows:

“The Club is at a loss to understand the unsubstantiated criticism emanating from Portsmouth Football Club concerning the manner in which Fulham FC successfully recruited Senegalese international midfielder Papa Bouba Diop.

A number of Clubs, including Fulham and Portsmouth, expressed an interest in signing the player before he eventually decided that joining Fulham was the best course of action for him at this stage in his career.

Papa Bouba Diop is delighted to be joining Fulham on the terms on which he has done so, Fulham is delighted to have signed a player of such ability, status and future potential and his former Club, Lens, is delighted with the financial terms that were agreed for the transfer of the player.

Negotiations amongst the parties were conducted smoothly and without the slightest hesitation on anyone’s part to conclude the transfer as expeditiously as possible.

Inevitably, there have to be winners and losers in the race to sign a highly talented player. Fulham is the winner in this particular case but, having lost out on previous occasions, can sympathise with Portsmouth and other Clubs who would have wished to sign Papa Bouba Diop.”