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Fulham are leading the race to sign Anderlecht centre back Kara Mbodji, according to reports from Belgium this morning.

The Premier League new boys are ready to pay £4.5m to offer the Senegalese international defender his dream move to England. Mboji has been heavily linked with a move over the past twelve months, with Crystal Palace and Leicester City having previously been keen on signing the powerful centre halve.

The 28 year-old, who can also fill the holding role in midfield, made his breakthrough after moving to Norwegian side Tromso in 2010, where he impressed at the heart of their defence and was twice voted runner-up in the Norwegian player of the year awards. After 70 appearances in three seasons, he earned a move to Ghent, where he won the Belgian Cup in his first season and eventually joined Anderlecht in a deal worth £4m.

Mboji starred as Anderlecht stormed to the Belgian title in 2016-2017, making 29 appearances and scoring four goals. He has won 47 caps for his country at senior level – scoring five goals – and went to the World Cup with Senegal in Russia, but did not make an appearance during the tournament. It appears as though Mboji’s days with Anderlecht are numbered as Hein Vanhaezebrouck wants to rebuild his defence with younger players and is willing to part with the powerful defender in a cut-price deal.

Slavisa Jokanovic is still seeking reinforcements in defence for his squad, despite the impending arrival of Alfie Mawson from Swansea. The imposing 6ft 4in centre half could fit the bill and Belgian newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws suggests the Whites are in pole position to secure his services, despite strong interest from Turkish and Dutch clubs. The Whites have recruited heavily from Belgium over recent seasons, with current utility defender Denis Odoi enjoying an outstanding Fulham career after arriving from Lokeren two years ago.