Fulham manager Roy Hodgson, who today welcomed new signing Bjorn Helge Riise to Craven Cottage, has revealed that he would like to add further to his squad, with Portsmouth forward Peter Crouch very much on his transfer radar.
The 6’7″ target man has been the subject of a bid from Sunderland for his services, but the player couldn’t agree personal terms with the Mackems. Sky Sports News has reported over the last couple of days that the player himself has indicated that he would favour a move to Fulham, though Harry Redknapp’s Tottenham Hotspur are also believed to be lurking with intent.
Hodgson is keen that the England man moves to the west rather than the north of the capital though, telling reporters at a press conference today, “We’re talking about a current England international, a top quality player who may just be available, and it’s not a surprise, I suppose, that teams like ourselves, Tottenham and Sunderland are interested in his services.”
The Cottagers’ boss was also hopeful when asked if a deal could be concluded soon for Crouch, whose manager at Pompey, Paul Hart, yesterday affirmed that it was almost certain that the player was leaving Fratton Park.
“I’m hoping it will be [possible], yes,” he stated. “But at the same time all deals of this magnitude are fraught with problems.
“Luckily those problems are being dealt with by the chief executive and I’m being kept totally up to date.”
Hodgson was similarly optimistic when it came to the question of West Bromwich Albion midfielder Jonathan Greening, another player he would like to add to the Cottagers’ ranks before August’s resumption of Premier League hostilities.
“I think the offer we’ve made is a very good one to West Bromwich,” he added. “We think the player would like to stay in the Premiership. We would like to sign him.
“But it’s now a question of West Bromwich Albion accepting the offer that we are prepared to make. I’m still very hopeful that that will be the case.
“But, again, I can’t make any bold statements because he is still a West Bromwich player.
“But he’s a player we’d very much like to sign and we are prepared to pay what we think is a very good price for him.”
As for the club’s Norwegian defender Brede Hangeland, Hodgson also remained confident that the talismanic centre-back would still be a Cottager come August.
“He’s contracted to us, he’s happy with us, and we don’t want to sell him,” the coach asserted. “Our aim and our hope is to keep Brede Hangeland.
“But as I’ve said before, all players at the end of the day are capable of being sold, however unhappy the selling club may be when that day comes.”
Hodgson confirmed that no bids of which he was aware had yet arrived at Fulham for the giant Norwegian.