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New Fulham boss Mark Hughes is close to making Benfica defender Rafik Halliche his first signing at Craven Cottage, according to Sky Sports News.

Hughes is in the market for a new defender after losing Philippe Senderos to serious Achilles injury.

Halliche impressed during the World Cup with Algeria and he is keen on a move to England after an unhappy spell at Benfica.

The 23-year-old has spent the last two seasons on loan at Nacional and Benfica are ready to let him move on.

Halliche is believed to have rejected offers from several other clubs across Europe as he tries to secure a move to West London.

The player’s agent, Ivan Modia, has confirmed a deal is close to being done to take Halliche to Craven Cottage.

“There is an agreement between the two clubs and Rafik will be assessed by Fulham in London,” Modia told

“Hopefully we can sort out the situation early next week.”