Fulham’s hopes of signing Chris Martin on a permanent deal appear to be over after he signed a new long-term contract at Derby, despite still being on loan at Craven Cottage.
Martin joined the West London club on season-long loan last summer, which is understood to include the option to make it permanent for a fee of £6m.
Fulham boss Slavisa Jokanovic has been keen to clinch Martin permanently this month but Derby County have been just as keen to see Martin return as soon as possible following Steve McClaren’s return as manager.
Jokanovic revealed earlier in January that McClaren had told him he wanted Martin back, but the Fulham manager has stood firm in his position that Martin would not be allowed to return and must honour his loan deal.
Sky sources understand that the Rams offered Martin a new deal in support of their case to get him back, and Martin subsequently made himself unavailable for two Fulham matches against Brighton and Cardiff, citing injury, in the hope of a return to Pride Park.
Fulham have stayed resolute and Jokanovic held talks with Martin, persuading him to recommit to their cause for the rest of the season and reintegrating him into the team.
Martin has scored two goals in his three appearances since his return, and also missed two penalties.
But after penning a new deal until 2020 on Saturday, Martin says he wants to get back playing with McClaren “as soon as possible”.
“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,” he said.
“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.”