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Fulham are moving closer to concluding a permanent deal for Newcastle United striker Aleksandar Mitrovic, according to a report in this morning’s Times.

The paper says that the newly-promoted side are hopeful of finalising the deal following Serbia’s group stage exit from the World Cup. Newcastle had hoped that Mitrovic’s participation in Russia might increase his value – but Mitrovic only scored once in three games and missed a couple of good chances against Brazil on Wednesday night.

Rafa Benitez has made clear that Mitrovic, who scored 12 goals in 20 games as Fulham embarked on a 23-match unbeaten run after the Serbian striker moved to Craven Cottage at the end of the January transfer window, has no future at St. James’ Park. Newcastle value the 23 year-old forward at around £20m and Mitrovic is keen to continue working with his compatriot Slavisa Jokanovic, who guided the Whites to a play-off final victory over Aston Villa at Wembley last month.

Fulham hope to capitalise on the fact that Newcastle need to raise funds for Benitez’s summer recruitment by pushing for a quick deal. For his part, Jokanovic is acutely aware that his side need to upgrade their forward line as prepare for their return to the top flight and sees Mitrovic as the ideal target man.