Paul Konchesky has been offered a new contract by Fulham to keep him out of the clutches of Liverpool, who are preparing a £3 million bid for the left-back.
The offer comes as former Craven Cottage manager Roy Hodgson is accused of breaking a ‘gentlemen’s agreement’ with Fulham owner Mohamed Al Fayed not to return to the club to buy any of his former players when he moved to Anfield.
Fulham are understood to be furious about Hodgson’s interest in Konchesky and relations between Al Fayed and the Liverpool boss have sunk to a new low.
Mark Hughes is an admirer of Konchesky and has sanctioned the club’s move to offer a new deal to the former West Ham defender, who moved to Craven Cottage for £3m in the summer of 2007.
Fulham sources say the 29-year-old, who has a year left on his current deal, has been in talks with the club for a number of weeks and are willing to make him one of the highest earners in the squad. Fulham’s best-paid player is on £40,000-a-week.
Liverpool have not yet made an official approach for Konchesky but Fulham are well aware of the Merseysiders’ interest and they will strongly resist a move before the end of the transfer window.
It is understood that when Hodgson told Al Fayed he wanted to leave Fulham last month that the pair shook hands on an agreement that he would not return to Craven Cottage to buy his former players. Liverpool have also been linked with moves for Craven Cottage pair Brede Hangeland and Danny Murphy, although they have not pursued the pair.
But Hodgson’s relationship with his former employer has deteriorated following his departure from west London.
Al Fayed made a series of unprompted attacks on Hodgson earlier this month on the day Hughes was unveiled as the new Fulham manager.
“This other guy [Hodgson] let us down and just walked away. But we have a nice guy now. He’s better looking, too,” Al Fayed said.
Only once referring to the man who took Fulham to the Europa League final by name, Al Fayed said of his former employee: “This guy, we put him where he is now and he took advantage.”
Hodgson responded by saying he was “disappointed” by the Fulham owner’s comments.