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Scott Carson’s touch of class

The unforgiving nature of modern football means that Scott Carson will probably still be associated with that forgettable night at Wembley when England’s hopes of qualifying for Euro 2008 were ruthlessly extinguished by Croatia long after he hangs up his boots. He won’t look back on this afternoon at Pride Park with too much fondness, either, as Derby’s promotion hopes were dented by another Fulham victory – but there was a moment in injury time that told you all need to know about the character of the man.

The Rams were pressing for an equaliser with time ticking away and Carson had been waved forward by Gary Rowett for a late set play. He found himself in the centre of the penalty area as the ball broke to Richard Keogh inside the box. The Derby defender fashioned a chance for himself and fired a venomous volley towards the top corner – only for Marcus Bettinelli to make a magnificent reaction save. Despite there being another to prepare for, Carson’s first thought was to offer his hand in congratulations to his opposite number in recognition of a first class stop. You can see the entire passage of play on the Sky Sports highlights package here.

Even setting aside the goalkeeper’s union, Carson’s instinctive response was a touch of class. It might not have won Derby an extra point, but it should earn Carson plenty of respect.

Fulham face fight for Carson

Premier League survivors Fulham have joined the race to sign Scott Carson, who is set to be one of three goalkeepers to leave Liverpool this summer.

Anfield manager Rafa Benitez will try to sign Birmingham goalkeeper Maik Taylor as back-up for Pepe Reina.

Reina’s current deputy, Charles Itandje, has been told he will be allowed to find another club, while young prospect David Martin will go out on loan next season to gain experience.

Liverpool’s £10 million asking price for Carson has been rebuffed by Aston Villa, where the England goalkeeper has spent the past year on loan.

But Fulham owner Mohamed Al Fayed would be interested at a more realistic price, with both his current goalkeepers Kasey Keller and Antti Niemi in their thirties.

Carson does not want to spend next season at Anfield as Reina’s deputy.

Fulham looking to loan Carson

Fulham are hoping to sign Scott Carson on loan from Liverpool next season.

The 21-year-old goalkeeper has returned to Anfield after completing an impressive campaign at Charlton, despite their relegation from the Premiership.

Carson’s opportunities at Liverpool are likely to be limited next season because established No1 Jose Reina is one of several players in negotiations with the club about extending their contracts.

The England Under-21 international wants regular football and Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez does not want to sell him, so the likeliest scenario is that he will spend another year on loan at a mid-table Premiership team where he is guaranteed first-team football.

Fulham are one of three top-flight clubs who have contacted Liverpool to say they want to be kept informed about Carson’s future.