Slavisa Jokanovic insists he remains unaware of any suggestion that Ryan Fredericks could be about to leave Fulham – and hopes that his squad will be strengthened in the next few days.
The Fulham head coach professed ignorance of rumours linking the Fulham right back with a potential move to Premier League Swansea City or Stoke City and told reporters at his press conference yesterday that the full-back had trained with the first team head of Saturday’s trip to Middlesbrough. Jokanovic said the 25 year-old was very much in his plans for the visit to the Riverside Stadium:
I don’t know about these rumours or links with Ryan Fredericks, all the people know I use him in all the games and for the team and myself he is an important player. What kind of steps we are going to take, I don’t need to make any comment on but at the end I expect we are going to be stronger soon that what we are right now.
I expect this guy, who is still not under contract as it ends at the end of the season, but for another side I understand the sport, business stuff and I don’t know what solution is best for us, but it is not in my hands.
Before we were talking about three players and now it has been ten days, I expect something will happen but it’s not in my hands and we’ll be focused on preparing the team for Boro. We will see, at the end, club need to make a step what we believe is important step for the team, and I expect something will happen.
The signs are that Fulham, who are still in discussions with Fredericks about extending his contract beyond this summer, are prepared to play hardball with any potential suitors about the right back’s availability. The club have received no offers for the former Tottenham and Bristol City defender – and a Daily Mirror report suggests Fulham’s £5m valuation may have encouraged Swansea to switch their attentions to other targets.
Fredericks, who joined Fulham from Ashton Gate for a fee of around £500,000 in August 2015, has made 92 appearances for the Whites and became Jokanovic’s first choice right back. The pacy defender told GetWestLondon’s Ryan O’Donovan in December that he was concentrating on furthering Fulham’s bid for promotion from the Championship rather than any contract negotiations.