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.

Fulham join Fraser race

Fulham have joined the race to sign Scottish international winger Ryan Fraser on a free transfer after he opted to leave Bournemouth earlier this summer.

The Whites are eager to bolster their attacking options as they prepare for a Premier League return and see the 26 year-old winger as an appealing low-cost option with considerable top flight experience. Fraser, who refused to sign a short-term contract with the Cherries ending a seven year spell at Dean Court, had been hoping to attract interest from Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur, but an offer from either north London outfit has not materialised.

As well as Premier League new boys Fulham, who beat Brentford to win last night’s Championship play-off final at Wembley, Crystal Palace are known to be keen admirers of Fraser’s talents. Roy Hodgson is keen to bring the winger to Selhurst Park and Palace have reportedly made an offer to Fraser’s agent. He scored just once in 32 appearances for the south coast side as they slumped to relegation this year, a disappointing ending to a fairytale spell at Bournemouth, which included winning promotion from League One in his first season and then going up from the Championship in 2015.

Fraser has made 120 Premier League appearances and would provide competition for the likes of Anthony Knockaert, Aboubakar Kamara and Neeskens Kebano, who have all filled the right wing spot in the closing weeks of the season for Fulham. His potential wage demands – rumoured to be around £100,000 a week when he turned down a proposed short-term deal at Bournemouth – could be the only serious stumbling block for any suitors.

Kebano signs new Fulham deal

Neeskens Kebano has signed a new two-year contract with Fulham – with the club retaining the option of another year’s extension.

The Congolese international winger starred to keep Fulham’s automatic promotion hopes alive until the very end of the season, scoring four goals in five games, including three free-kicks in successive fixtures. Kebano’s outstanding form earned him a starting place in the play-offs, where he scored in both legs of the semi-final against Cardiff City, and won his second promotion in three seasons after Fulham beat Brentford at Wembley last night.

The 28 year-old winger was delighted to cement his future at Craven Cottage, telling the club’s website:

“I’m delighted for the team, the staff and the supporters, we’ve remained together which has brought us to where we are now. I have a lot of affection for this Club, for the fans, so it’s natural this decision to sign a contract when this opportunity was offered to me, and I’m very happy to be here for a couple of more seasons.”

Fulham’s vice chairman and director of football, Tony Khan, added:

“Neeskens has been at Fulham for four seasons, joining the Club in my first season as Director of Football, and he’s made great contributions for Fulham in two Premier League promotions, particularly during our great run since the restart these past several weeks, scoring five in four matches including a wonderful pair of goals in the Play-Off Semi-Final, one in each leg, to help the Club reach the Final again, where he started yesterday in our incredible win at Wembley.”