Justin Kluivert is prepared to reject rival offers from Marseille and Nice to sign for Fulham in order to realise his dream of playing in the Premier League, according to the Evening Standard this morning.
The Dutch winger, son of legendary former Ajax and Holland international Patrick, has always wanted to test himself in England after his father spoke of his enjoyment of his year playing for Newcastle United. The Roma winger, who has spent the last two seasons on loan at Red Bull Leipzig and Nice, has become a prime target for Marco Silva, who is personally handling the negotiations over this deal with his compatriot Tiago Pinto, who is Roma’s general manager.
Fulham are eager to bring in Kluivert, a versatile winger who can play on either flank or as a second striker, following Manor Soloman’s knee injury that seems set to sideline the Israeli international until December. The 23 year-old, who helped Ajax reach the final of the Europa League in 2017 and got to the final of the French Cup with Nice last season, has won two senior caps for his country after coming through the Ajax academy to star in their senior side.
His £15m move to Roma – engineered by a phone call from Francesco Totti to Patrick Kluivert – has fizzled out and Kluivert senior told the Italian press last week that his son needs ‘consistency’ to realise his potential. With the player having told Fulham he wants to sign for them, all that remains are the practicalities of the deal. Fulham have baulked at Roma’s desire to recoup the fee they paid five years ago and have instead proposed a season-long loan with an option to buy, worth around £10m, which would come into play depending on how many league appearances Kluivert makes this season.
It looks unlikely at this stage that a deal will be concluded in time for Kluivert to face Brentford on Saturday, with Silva short on wingers after injury robbed him of the services of Harry Wilson as well as Solomon. The fatigue caused by the heat at Wolves last weekend forced the Fulham head coach to replace Neeskens Kebano with teenage striker Jay Stansfield, who made his Premier League debut on the right wing.
The Standard also says that the Whites remain in the market for a striker to act as understudy to Aleksandar Mitrovic, which would allow Rodrigo Muniz to go out on loan. The Brazilian forward is rumoured to be ready to taste more Championship action with Middlesbrough, who Fulham beat to his permanent signing last summer. The Cottagers are casting a wider net for potential reinforcements up front after Bamba Dieng expressed a preference to move elsewhere, Moussa Dembele rejected the chance to return to SW6 and Nottingham Forest moved ahead of a clutch of Premier League sides in the race to sign Neale Maupay, the former Brentford front man, from Brighton.