Fulham enter Gallagher race

Fulham are one of a number of Premier League clubs who are considering taking Conor Gallagher on loan from Chelsea, according to Football London.

Chelsea are willing to send their promising midfielder out on loan again after his impressive performances for Charlton and Swansea City last term, but they want him to make the step up to the top flight. Gallagher is keen to taste more first-team football, which remains unlikely at this point if he were to stay at Stamford Bridge, and there will be no shortage of suitors. Crystal Palace, Southampton and Leeds are among the leading sides interested in taking the England under-21 international on loan, although Chelsea’s preference is believed to be for a team that plays in a similar style to their own.

That may open the door to Fulham, who are managed by former Blues midfielder Scott Parker, who has largely stuck to his patient, passing game as the Whites secured promotion from the Championship via the play-offs. Gallagher caught the eye during his loan spells, with one superb performance in Charlton’s 2-2 at Craven Cottage in September. The twenty year-old scored six times in his 26 appearances with the Addicks and, whilst he didn’t find the net for Swansea, he contributed six assists as the Welsh side were beaten in the play-off semi-finals by Brentford.

Parker is known to be keen to nurture young talent and, with Matt O’Riley and Luca de la Torre heading for pastures new this summer, there would be an opening for an attacking midfielder to put pressure on club captain Tom Cairney and Josh Onomah, who really came into his own during the second half of the season. Perhaps the biggest battle will be convincing Gallagher that his future prospects are best served by making the short journey along the Fulham Road.

de la Torre joins Heracles on free transfer

Fulham’s American midfielder Luca de la Torre has joined Heracles Almelo on a free transfer.

The 22 year-old has left Craven Cottage after four years in west London, having failed to establish himself in the first-team squad despite displaying promising potential. The California-born youngster made his senior debut for the Whites in the League Cup at Leyton Orient in 2016, but found further opportunities tough to come by. He scored his only first-team goal in an eye-catching performance at Millwall in the League Cup in 2018, but made just four appearances under Scott Parker last season.

De la Torre, who won the Under 20 CONCACAF Cup in 2017 and has been capped at senior level by his country, is excited by the prospect of a new challenge. He told Heracles’ website:

“Heracles likes to play attractive football. I think that fits in well with my way of playing. I also had good discussions about this with coach Frank Wormuth, among others. That gave me confidence. I can’t wait to show what I can do.”

Heracles finished eighth in the Eredivisie last season and have made six signings already in preparation for the new campaign.

Fulham keen to make Arter move permanent

Fulham are planning to turn Harry Arter’s loan move from Bournemouth into a permanent deal, according a report this morning from the Evening Standard.

The combative midfielder, who is Scott Parker’s brother-in-law, headed back to the south coast after Fulham’s dramatic play-off success on Tuesday after failing to make the necessary number of appearances to automatically trigger a £4m move. However, Parker values Arter’s experience and the club also recognise that his season was cut short by a knee injury sustained in the final game of the regular campaign at Wigan.

Bournemouth, who are preparing for life in the Championship, would be happy to let Arter leave and the 30 year-old is reportedly keen to have another opportunity to play in the top flight. He made 29 appearances for the Whites, scoring three goals, including crucial strikes at QPR and Nottingham Forest that rekindled Fulham’s promotion push. Both clubs are expected to continue discussions over a potential transfer this week.

Leicester lining up Bryan bid

Leicester City are planning to take Fulham’s Wembley hero Joe Bryan to the King Power this morning as a replacement for England international Ben Chilwell, according to Football Insider.

Foxes manager Brendan Rodgers has made the recruitment of a left back a priority with Chilwell expected to complete a big-money move to Chelsea in the coming weeks. He has apparently made Bryan his top target, although the full back’s asking price and availability may have been significantly affected by his heroics in Tuesday’s play-off final victory over Brentford that secured Fulham’s return to the top flight at the first attempt.

Bryan’s brilliant brace in the space of twelve minutes in extra time wrote his name into Fulham folklore – and it is highly unlikely that the Londoners would allow him to leave Craven Cottage this summer, unless it was for an exorbitant fee. They have successfully fought off interest for the 26 year-old already this year, having rebuffed an approach from Southampton and a loan approach by Italian side Atalanta back in January.

Despite a difficult period during the second half of the season, Bryan has been a regular feature at left back since making the move from Bristol City in August 2018. He has made 80 appearances for Scott Parker’s side, scoring four goals and two years to run on his current contract.

Parker poised for Fulham talks over new contract

Scott Parker will open talks with Fulham over a new contract in the next few days after guiding the Whites back to the Premier League.

The former Fulham captain, 39, guided the club back to the top flight at the first time of asking in his first full season of club management. Parker, whose only previous coaching role prior to joining Slavisa Jokanovic’s backroom staff in 2018 was at the Tottenham academy, has a year left on his current deal at Craven Cottage and is understood to be keen to commit his future to the club ahead of the start of the new season in September.

For their part, Fulham are eager to reward Parker’s progression after what has been a challenging and ultimately successful season. The club are open to increasing Parker’s yearly salary from around £3m to £5m – in recognition of his revival of Fulham’s fortunes. The former England skipper has spoken at length about the difficulties of trying to change the club’s culture following the damage inflicted by Claudio Ranieri’s reign and losing eleven of their last 15 matches as they went down with a whimper. Despite being well behind Leeds and West Bromwich Albion at various stages of the season, Parker rallied his troops and Fulham’s push for automatic promotion continued all the way to a dramatic final day of the regular season.

The Fulham boss showed the coaching credentials that have long been spoken about within the game during the play-offs, inspiring a textbook away win at Cardiff City in the semi-final and nullifying Brentford’s lauded attack at Wembley last night to clinch a famous success. Penning a long term deal would allow Parker and Fulham to concentrate on requirement in what promises to be a hectic five weeks before the big kick off as they aim to avoid the mistakes that doomed their previous top flight campaign.