Fulham mull £8m move for O’Dowda

Fulham are holding discussions with Bristol City over a potential deal to bring winger Callum O’Dowda to Craven Cottage, according to a Sky Sports report this evening.

The Republic of Ireland international has so far refused to commit to a long-term future at Ashton Gate, with a contract offer on the table, and Fulham are interested in taking the 24 year-old to London as they prepare for the start of their Championship campaign next month. It is reported that there is a big difference between the two club’s valuations of the midfielder, with Fulham apparently unwilling to meet Bristol City’s £8m asking price.

O’Dowda, who has won 15 senior caps for Ireland, scored five goals in 35 appearances for Bristol City last season as Lee Johnson’s side narrowly missed out on the Championship play-off places. The winger, who rose through the ranks at his hometown club Oxford, has a year left on his current contract and has previously been linked to both Nottingham Forest and Leeds, although interest from those suitors has reportedly dimmed in recent weeks.

Fulham sign Taylor-Crossdale

Fulham have signed Chelsea forward Martell Taylor-Crossdale on a free transfer after his contract at Stamford Bridge expired.

The 19 year-old moves to Craven Cottage after a prolific spell in the Chelsea youth team, for whom he won the golden ball in the 2016/2017 Under 18 Premier League. Taylor-Crossdale, who won the Toulon Tournament with England’s Under 18s in 2017, has fond memories of the Cottage having scored a hat-trick when Chelsea beat Fulham 6-0 in the FA Youth Cup quarter final.

Taylor-Crossdale, who had a second half cameo yesterday for Fulham’s Under 23s as they beat Southend United 4-1 at Motspur Park, told Fulham’s official website:

I’m ready to go here and show everyone what I can do. I felt coming here presented the perfect opportunity to push into the first team. I had a look at the pathway into the first team and I’m hopeful I can breakthrough to impress the manager. I’m a player who likes to run in-behind. I’m good in the box and know where the net is, I hope I can score lots of goals for Fulham.

Fulham academy director Huw Jennings added:

“We are delighted to secure the services of Martell. He has been a prolific goal scorer at youth level for Chelsea and joins us with the opportunity to develop his career at Fulham from this solid base.”

Taylor-Crossdale has signed a two-year contract with Fulham.

Cavaleiro joins Fulham on loan

Fulham have this afternoon confirmed that Wolves winger Ivan Cavaleiro has joined the Whites on a season-long loan deal. The Championship club will have the opportunity to make the loan move permanent at the end of the season.

The Portuguese winger, who starred when Wolves won promotion to the Premier League in 2017/2018, had seen his first-team opportunities limited at Molineux and Fulham moved quickly to secure the services of the 25 year-old, who has been one of the club’s long-term transfer targets. Cavaleiro, who has scored 19 goals in 106 appearances during three years with Wolves, previously helped Benfica win the Portuguese treble and reach the final of the Europa League in 2014.

After finalising his loan switch, Cavaleiro told Fulham’s official website:

“I’m really happy to be here and sign for Fulham. This is a big and respected club in England and through the rest of the world. Fulham has been involved in a European final, so it holds great pedigree. This is a good opportunity for me to grow as a player as well so I’m very happy to be here and I’m excited to be meeting everyone today.”

The new signing will fill a gap on the right winger that Fulham have sought to plug in recent years, although Cavaleiro can also play on the left and through the middle.

Fulham fall to Burnley defeat

A Chris Wood penalty condemned Fulham to their second pre-season defeat as the Whites were beaten by Burnley on the Algarve this evening.

The New Zealand striker notched the winning goal twenty minutes from time – beating Fabri from twelve yards – after a rash Cyrus Christie challenge on Ben Mee inside the box. Wood had the chance to put a more convincing gloss on the scoreline with time running out but he rattled the crossbar with a firm header from a corner.

A strong Burnley side that included former Fulham academy graduate Johann Berg Gudmundsson had the better of the early exchanges. Jay Rodriguez thought he had started his second stint with Sean Dyche’s side in the finest possible manner but his powerful header from Robbie Brady’s free-kick was ruled out for offside. Fulham operated mostly on the counter attack, but Mee had to be alert to deny rampaging left back Joe Bryan after the Whites’ most fluent passage of play.

American midfielder Luca da le Torre had Fulham’s other clear opening of note but Nick Pope made a smart save. Scott Parker opted to mark only three substitutes at half-time, saving most of his alterations for just after the hour mark as he sought to build up Fulham’s fitness levels, whilst Dyche made ten half-time changes.

Fulham fashioned the first opportunity of the second period with former England goalkeeper Joe Hart reacting quickly to keep out a low drive from Neeskens Kebano. The winger then whipped in a teasing cross for Fonte, who could only head harmlessly over the bar. In a tight contest, the Clarets gradually began to pose more of a threat with a blistering Jack Cork wide flying wide courtesy of a deflection.

Parker’s side finish their pre-season tour of Portugal with a tough test against Porto on Tuesday night.

BURNLEY (4-5-1): Pope (Hart 45); Bardsley (Lowton 45) Pieters (Dunne 45), Mee (Tarkowski 45), Long (Gibson 45); Westwood (Cork 45), Benson (Vydra 65), Hendrick (McNeill 45), Gudmundsson (Barnes 45), Brady (Lennon 45); Rodriguez (Wood 45).

GOAL: Wood (pen 70).

FULHAM (4-3-3): Bettinelli (Fabri 63), S. Sessegnon (Christie 63), Bryan (Mundle-Smith 66) Mawson (Odoi 63), Le Marchand (Opoku 63); McDonald (O’Riley 45), de la Torre (Johansen 45), Cairney (Edun 63); Kebano (Francois 63), Kamara (Ayité 45), Fonte (Mitrovic 63).

Fulham make Knockaert approach

Fulham have made an approach for Brighton and Hove Albion winger Anthony Knockaert, according to reports on the south coast.

The Londoners have yet to make a firm offer for the 27 year-old, although other reports have put the price of a potential deal at around £15m. It is certain that Fulham would have pay a substantial fee to secure Knockaert’s signature – given that the winger still has three years to run on his current Brighton contract. Fulham see the former Leicester wide man as a proven performer in the Championship, who helped both the Foxes and Albion win promotion from the second tier, and believe they could tempt him to move to the capital by putting together an attractive contractual package.

Knockaert, who has struggled to replicate his outstanding Championship displays in the Premier League for the Seagulls, could be squeezed out of Brighton’s first-team picture under new boss Graham Potter as Albion now have five first-team wingers on their books. He has scored five goals in 63 appearances over the past two seasons in the top flight and was sent off for a shocking tackle in a home thumping by Bournemouth as Brighton’s relegation fears grew under Chris Hughton.

Knockaert, who famously missed a penalty in Leicester’s play-off semi final defeat at Watford in 2013, scored five goals in 42 appearances as the Foxes won promotion the following season. He scored fifteen goals as Brighton went up in 2016/2017 and was voted the Championship player of the season.