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Fulham are the favourites to sign Wayne Bridge before the end of the transfer window, according to the The Guardian.

Chris Coleman is confident of concluding a loan switch for the England international after Jose Mourinho refused to sanction the full back’s sale to Tottenham. The 25 year-old is not a first choice at Stamford Bridge but Mourinho regards him as a key part of his future plans and is willing to send Bridge out on loan as the defender looks to build his fitness up again ahead of this summer’s World Cup.

Bridge has only played 182 minutes of football since suffering a dreadful ankle injury in Chelsea’s FA Cup defeat by Newcastle. Coleman’s close relationship with Mourinho, who admires the Welshman as one of the brightest young managerial prospects in Britain, and Fulham’s ability to offer Bridge first-team football are understood to have put the Cottagers in pole position to finalise the move in the coming days.

That would disappoint both Steve McClaren, who was hoping to use his England connections to tempt Bridge to Newcastle, and the defender’s former manager at Southampton, Gordon Strachan, who wanted to take him north to Celtic.