Fulham are preparing to play hardball with Derby County over Chris Martin tonight after the Rams announced that the Scottish striker had signed a new three and a half year contract at Pride Park whilst still at loan at Craven Cottage.
Despite media reports that Martin would again attempt to force through an early return to Derby this weekend, Fulham have insisted that the Scottish international’s decision to agree a new deal with his parent club doesn’t alter the terms of the loan agreement all three parties signed back in August. A Fulham spokesperson told Sky Sports this evening that Martin, who had previously refused to play for the club before the New Year before being reintegrated into the squad, would be remaining in south west London:
The signing of a new contract with Derby County does not impact on the terms of the loan arrangement agreed by both clubs. Chris Martin will be at Fulham for the remainder of the season and the club still has an option to purchase.
The Telegraph has reported tonight that Martin is demanding talks with head coach Slavisa Jokanovic ahead of tomorrow’s FA Cup fourth round tie with Hull City about the possibility of returning to Derby immediately. The Derby County announcement of Martin’s contract extension extension includes these quotes from the Scotland international:
At the start of this season I was not in the previous manager’s plans, which is a decision that I completely understood and respected, and as a result I had the opportunity to move to Fulham on loan. I am thankful that the board only allowed the move on a temporary basis, because I really didn’t want to leave Derby and my family is settled in the area too.
I enjoyed playing under Steve McClaren in the past and I feel that he got the best out of me, so I look forward to doing so as soon as possible. I really am excited and happy to be signing this new contract.
Martin has scored twice in three appearances since his return to the Fulham side but also seen penalties saved in the 1-1 draw at QPR and last Tuesday’s 1-0 defeat at Reading. It remains to be seen whether Jokanovic, who had loaned Cauley Woodrow to Burton Albion yesterday in anticipation of Martin remaining available for selection and is already keen to bring in two more strikers in the closing days of the transfer window, will include the former Norwich City forward in his future plans.