Fulham are interested in signing Croatian centre back Martin Erlic from Spezia, according to reports this evening.

The Whites are eager to bolster their defensive options ahead of their return to the Premier League next month. The Sunday Express suggests that Fulham have been impressed with Erlic’s performances as he helped Spezia earn promotion to Serie A last season – and have made an approach to sign the centre half. The Londoners are likely to face competition from other English sides, with Crystal Palace and Southampton also tracking the ex-Croatia under-19 international.

Erlic, now 22, came through the Dinamo Zagreb youth set-up and impressed enough during a spell with Croatian outfit Rajika to earn a move to Italy. He moved to Sassuolo when Parma plunged into bankruptcy but, despite impressing in the Croatian youth ranks, failed to make a senior appearance as the Black and Greens established themselves as European contenders in Serie A. Erlic had loan spells with Sudtirol and Spezia, who signed him on a permanent basis despite an injury-hit loan. The Little Eagles reaped the rewards when Erlic made 27 appearances last term as Vincenzo Italiano’s men won promotion via the play-offs.

Sassuolo still retain a 50% sell-on clause on Erlic, which means Spezia will look to maximise any transfer fee from English suitors this summer.