Fulham are reportedly ready to launch an astonishing raid for Real Madrid striker Ruud van Nistelrooy.

Yesterday’s People suggested that the Dutch forward has been told he can leave the Bernabeu for a knock-down fee in order to help Real finance their move for AC Milan’s Kaka. The Daily Mail has speculated the fee could be as little as £1.25m.

Van Nistelrooy has been hampered which ended his season. It is understood that he would be interested in a return to England after spending three successful years with Manchester United. Fulham are well-known to be in the market for a new striker this summer, but will face competition from Tottenham, who keen to boost their striking options if – as expected – Darren Bent and Roman Pavlyuchenko leave White Hart Lane.

It is to be hoped that Fulham’s participation in the Europa League would count in our favour, but I would be amazed if Ruud were to arrive at Craven Cottage this summer.