Fulham have made a breakthrough in their pursuit of Roma goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg.
The Dutchman has indicated that he wants to move to Craven Cottage and the two clubsare in advanced talks over the player’s transfer fee.
It can be revealed that Roma have already lined up Santos keeper Rafael Cabral to replace the London-bound Dutchman.
Goal.com disclosed last week that Fulham had opened preliminary talks with Roma about summer deal for Stekelenburg after failing with a deadline-day bid to capture him in January.
Negotiations are centring on the cost of the 30-year-old and the structure of what is expected to be a ?6million (£5m) deal.
Stekelenburg is keen to leave Serie A and move to London despite an upturn in his form following the exit of former Roma manager Zdenek Zeman in February.
The Holland international flew to England on the last day of the January window to complete a loan move to Fulham until the end of the season, but the Giallorossi pulled the plug on the deal when he was at Heathrow airport after failing to land a replacement in time.
Sources have said that the channels of communication have remained open between the two clubs and a deal is becoming increasingly likely.
The Serie A club have already begun lining up a replacement for Stekelenburg and have made preparations to sign their No1 target Santos’ Rafael, 22. Corinthians keeper Cassio Ramos is also on their shortlist as an alternative.
Fulham have prioritised signing a new goalkeeper.
The Cottagers have offered a one-year contract extension to long-standing No1 Mark Schwarzer, but the Australian turns 41 in October and has been told that a new goalkeeper will be coming to the club this summer.
Schwarzer is mulling over Fulham’s offer and is yet to commit beyond the end of the season.