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Fulham are set to pip relegation rivals West Ham to steal Steve Sidwell, according to the Mirror tonight.

Sidwell, 28, leaves Aston Villa this month as the Midlands club seeks to cut their £70million wage bill.

He has already held talks with bottom club West Ham, where he had a medical, and has since discussed going to struggling Wolves on loan.

Sidwell was even in the crowd at Molineux on Wednesday as Wolves beat Chelsea 1-0.

But the star has decided against staying in the Midlands as his family home is in south-west London. And Fulham are now firm favourites to sign the goal-scoring midfielder on a knock-down deal.

MirrorSport revealed in June that Fulham agreed a £2million fee with Villa for Sidwell – but the move was aborted when boss Roy Hodgson left.

It has now been resurrected by successor Mark Hughes for a fraction of the cost because Sidwell’s £48,000-a-week contract is up in the summer.

Sidwell cost Villa £5m in July 2008, from Chelsea, but made only 24 league starts for the club.