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Fulham are poised to activate the clause in Harrison Reed’s loan deal that will allow them to make the Southampton midfielder their first Premier League signing for £8m.

Reed, who admitted in the run-up to the play-off final that he was interested in making a permanent move to Craven Cottage having spent the last three seasons away from St. Mary’s on loan in the Championship, has been a key figure in Scott Parker’s midfield since the resumption of the season following the coronavirus lockdown. The 25 year-old made 27 appearances as the Whites bounced back to the top flight at the first attempt, adding steal and defensive solidity in front of the back four.

The tigerish midfielder, who came through the youth ranks at Southampton, made his senior debut as a substitute in the League Cup at Barnsley in 2013. He followed that with a Premier League bow against Manchester City in December, but has found first team opportunities tough to come by with Saints in recent years, playing just thirty senior games in total. He has spent time on loan at Norwich, Blackburn and Fulham in successive seasons – and may look favourably on the prospect of finding a new home.

Reed has flourished alongside Tom Cairney of late in a reshaped Fulham midfield, with Josh Onomah operating in an advanced midfield role, and completing a deal for his services would be a real coup for the newly promoted club as they strive to assemble a squad good enough to compete at the highest level.