Chris Coleman has installed Luis Boa Morte as the new Fulham captain and is confident that he will remain with the club.
The Portuguese winger has been linked with a move to Newcastle throughout the summer transfer window but Coleman claimed that even a £10m offer from the Magpies – double what they have reportedly offered – would be not be enough to allow him to leave Craven Cottage. Fulham are now preparing a bumper new contract to persuade Boa Morte to stay in west London.
Speaking after Saturday’s goalless draw with Birmingham, Coleman admitted: “I thought about who should be captain all summer. It was a difficult decision because at the start of the summer there was talk of Newcastle wanting Boa, but we can’t lose him now. He’s too important for us. Newcastle haven’t come anywhere near the asking price for him. The deadline is up now because we can’t sell one of our best players.
“Everybody has their price but each week there’s another million on his head as far as I’m concerned. It would be ludicrous for us to sell him. The last two years he’s been our best and most influential player. He’s a great fellow, fantastic around the dressing room. He talks to all the other players.
“It’s a no-brainer. What we want to do is sit him down and make him sign a new contract, which he knows about. I’m extremely confident he won’t be moving anywhere in this transfer window. If Newcastle were to give us £10million for him, it would mean I’d have to go out and buy a new player to replace him. We haven’t got the time to do that.
“Six months I was was worried but since then I’ve sat down with the chairman and directors and we have all agreed there is no way we can sell him. Boa expressed his wishes last year that if there was a chance, he would move to a bigger club. You can’t blame him for that. But he’s also said that if he’s here he’ll be fully committed. We saw that in pre-season and saw it today. He deserves the armband.”