Fulham are close to throwing in the towel in their long-winded pursuit of Manchester City winger Shaun Wright-Phillips.

Mark Hughes is keen to take the England international on loan at Craven Cottage and has gradually worn down his former employers, who were originally insistent that any January deal would have to be a permanent transfer. Fulham want a loan followed by a £4m move in the summer but Wright-Phillips’ wage package is now the major stumbling block between the parties.

City are refusing to subsidise the England international’s £60,000-a-week wages, with Fulham’s budget only stretching to an offer of a £45,000 weekly salary. Hughes fears that this could doom the whole deal.

“We’ve enquired but it seems like it’s becoming more and more difficult. There are a lot of things being put in our way to prevent that.”