Slavisa Jokanovic has once again insisted that wantaway striker Chris Martin will be remaining at Fulham as there is no way for the loan deal between the club and Derby County to be annulled without the Cottagers’ consent.
Martin downed tools at Motspur Park last week and refused to play against Reading on Friday night or against Brighton and Hove Albion at Craven Cottage this afternoon. The Scottish international wants to return to his parent club and be reunited with Steve McClaren, but Jokanovic has given such a suggestion short shrift. Speaking to the press after today’s 2-1 defeat by Albion, the Serbian head coach was defiant:
We signed the contract, all three sides – Derby, Fulham and Chris Martin – and there is no option for a recall. This is nice because they offer him more money and more years, but this solution does not exist. He was going to stay until the end of the season. That is my position and Fulham’s position. And that’s it.
He is still trying to explain that he is injured but my medical department did not find any problem at the moment. I am not doctor here, and we are going to try and find where this problem is.
When we played Derby three or four weeks ago Steve McClaren asked me about Chris Martin because he explained he likes this player. And I explained he is under contract, I want to keep him and recommended that he look in the market for another option. But he must not have understood my English.
McClaren angered Fulham by speaking about his admiration for Martin and the possibility of the player returning to Derby on Saturday – and that may have been behind Jokanovic’s colourful description of the conversation between the two managers this afternoon. The former England manager had insisted both managers ‘should stay out of it’ after Jokanovic angrily defended Fulham’s position following the abandonment at Reading on Friday, although speaking to BBC Radio Derby this afternoon, McClaren admitted that Fulham would have the final say on whether Martin would be permitted to leave London.