Fulham manager Roy Hodgson will try to strengthen his squad with the signing of Sunderland’s Nigerian midfielder Dickson Etuhu despite a proposed swap deal with Northern Ireland striker David Healy breaking down.

In the end Healy joined Sunderland for £2million but Hodgson – who saw his team narrowly avoid humiliation in the Carling Cup with a 3-2 home win over League One Leicester on Wednesday night – said: “We are still working on that deal.

“Although we’ve signed a lot of players this summer we’ve still got only a 21-man squad really – and we’ll lose a lot of that to the internationals next week.

“We’ve not got players who play for England but so many who go all around the world when these international weeks come up. It takes a lot away from our training and preparation.”

Fulham are not in action again until September 13, at home to Bolton, but might want it to come quicker after almost embarrassing themselves against the relegated Foxes at Craven Cottage.