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Fulham’s Nigerian forward Sone Aluko has asked the club to either offer him an improved contract or allow him to leave, according to a Press Association report this morning.

Aluko, who captained Slavisa Jokanovic’s side for the second time at Leeds last night in the absence of regular skipper Tom Cairney, was outstanding in his first season at Craven Cottage as the Whites reached the Championship play-off semi-finals. He has reportedly become frustrated at the pace of contract negotiations with Fulham repeatedly turning down approaches from Reading for his services.

Aluko, who has found the net nine times in 53 appearances since signing on a free transfer from Hull City, is understood to want a pay increase commensurate with his elevated squad status. Fulham hold an option to extend his current deal by a year, but triggering this would currently leave his wages at the same level – and the club’s reported policy of not offering extended contracts to players aged 28 or above might have got in the way of successful negotiations.

Fulham head coach Slavisa Jokanovic is no doubt of Aluko’s importance to his side, having previously insisted it would be ‘a big mistake’ for the club to countenance the sale of such a crucial player.