Fulham manager Kit Symons says he is confident of keeping young starlets Patrick Roberts and Marcus Bettinelli at Craven Cottage.
Both players have been linked with moves away from the Championship side having played very different roles for the club since their relegation from the Premier League last year. Bettinelli, who has passed a hundred first-team games at the age of just 23, became Fulham’s first-team goalkeeper when Symons replaced Magath after a disastrous start to the season and produced some outstanding displays in front of the league’s second-worst defence.
Bettinelli’s performances earned a call-up to the England under-21 squad and he has been included in Gareth Southgate’s party for the forthcoming European Under-21 Championships. The academy graduate has been linked with a possible move to local rivals Chelsea this summer, but Fulham are confident of successfully concluding negotiations over a new contract with the goalkeeper shortly.
Roberts, who has starred at youth level for both club and country, endured a more difficult season, having to settle for intermittent substitute appearances after failing to establish himself in the first team. The 18 year-old’s contract expires at the end of next season and Symons’ biggest test will be convincing the talented midfielder that his future at Craven Cottage at the same time as aiding his development with further first-team football.
The Fulham manager certainly isn’t contemplating losing either of his prized assets:
We can keep them, for sure, and that’s what we plan on doing. They’ve developed at this football club and they’ll continue to develop here. It’s a good place for young players to be. We want to keep hold of all our best young players, we want them to have a bright future with Fulham.