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Rene Meulensteen is set to be replaced by Alan Curbishley as Fulham’s collapse towards relegation reaches crisis-point.

Curbishley, appointed as Fulham’s technical director over Christmas, has been regularly taking training sessions and there is a contingency plan to draft in the former Charlton and West Ham boss as manager in a last throw of the dice to avoid relegation.

Fulham have lost eight out of 10 Premier League games under Meulensteen, culminating in ¬≠yesterday’s 3-0 home defeat to Southampton, which sent the Cottagers to the foot of the table.

Despite signing six players in the final two days of the transfer window, Fulham will consider ditching the Dutchman before their fate is sealed, unless there is significant improvement with their next two games

Most Fulham players were pleased to see Dimitar Berbatov leave the club on loan for Monaco on deadline day, as they believed him unsuited to a relegation fight.

But former Manchester United coach Meulensteen needs his new signings to make a quick impact if the head coach is not to depart before his contract expires in May and three of Fulham’s next four League matches are against United, Liverpool and Chelsea.