Fulham are close to signing former Manchester United target Steven Defour from Porto in a £7million deal.

The Cottagers view the 25-year-old Belgium international as one of the new recruits needed to improve their team and ensure they avoid relegation from the Premier League.

Defour’s agent Paul Stefani is in London holding talks with Cottagers chief executive Alistair Mackintosh, according to Belgian paper Het Laatste Nieuws.

Personal terms have been agreed which would see the 25-year-old midfielder sign a deal keeping him at the London club until 2018.

Porto do not want to send Defour out on loan and are reluctant to sell even though he has suffered a dip in form this term which has restricted him to just 13 appearances.

But Stefani said: ‘Steven wants to leave the club. Porto don’t want to sell him and consider him as a player for the future, but with the upcoming World Cup, Steven has to play more games.’

Anderlecht were the only other club to show an interest in Defour this month but he would rather showcase his talents in the Premier League with Fulham.