The Championship’s top marksman Aleksandar Mitrovic has again been discussing his eventful deadline day in January 2018 and how close he came to joining Middlesbrough.
It’s no secret that Mitrovic, out of favour at Newcastle United at the time, was wanted by Tony Pulis that month and after a move to Anderlecht fell though, Boro suddenly sensed a breakthrough.
Mitrovic was desperate to get out of St James’ Park and has revealed his agent had opened discussions with Boro. But that was when he received the WhatsApp message from Fulham boss Slavisa Jokanovic and in an instant his mind was made up and Boro’s chances were over.
Mitrovic has been telling the story of the move in this month’s FourFourTwo. He said “I travelled from Newcastle to Belgium, to re-sign for Anderlecht.
“But the transfer broke down because they were unable to sell one of their players to Udinese, so didn’t have the money to sign me.
“Newcastle called and said Middlesbrough would sign me. At that point I said I’d go anywhere, so my agent started negotiating with Boro.”
He adds: “I was looking at WhatsApp, and then I saw Slavisa Jokanovic’s name. He had called me only a few days before and asked about my situation, and I told him that I was going to Anderlecht.
“On deadline day I got bored with waiting, so I sent him a message saying: ‘Hi, how are you?’
“He messaged me back, asking if it was true that my deal had broken down, and saying he still needed a striker.
“I replied: ‘Yes please, I want to join Fulham. Phone my agent.’ We did the deal in Belgium. It went right to the final minutes – I was so relieved to get it done.
“I was the player they were missing, and this was the club I needed.”
Mitrovic fired Fulham to promotion, and although he couldn’t keep them up last season his 23 goals so far this term are keeping the Cottagers in the mix for an immediate return to the top flight.