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Jol open to offers for Halliche and Bjorn-Helge Riise

Martin Jol says Fulham would be happy to allow Rafik Halliche and Bjorn Helge Riise to leave the club before the end of the January transfer window.

Algerian centre back Halliche has struggled to make an impact with the first-team since signing from Benfica after an impressive World Cup in 2010. The 25 year-old hasn’t featured during Jol’s time at the club and has only made two appearances for the Whites, both as a substitute. Halliche was close to joining Swansea on loan in the summer transfer window but the necessary paperwork wasn’t completed in time and a proposed move to Celtic after a pre-Christmas trial appears to have fallen through.

With Halliche, he is probably our fifth centre-back so he is in a difficult position. I feel for him because he played for the reserves when we beat Arsenal and played a terrific match.

He is a good player, but I can’t play five centre-backs. If there is a good opportunity for him, I would like to help him.

Jol also would offer the younger Riise a chance to find first-team football, although this is more likely to be on loan. The Norwegian midfielder had a brief spell with Portsmouth but returned to Motspur Park early after making only a couple of first-team appearances and the Fulham manager insists any potential takers for the 28 year-old would have to guarantee regular football.

Bjorn was at Portsmouth and came back so we have to wait and see. The boy needs to play but I have to find a good club for him that play in a certain style.

They have to guarantee or promise me that he will be a good part of the squad because otherwise he will stay here.

Halliche back on Celtic radar

The Daily Express links out-of-favour Fulham centre back with a move to Celtic in the next few days as the Algerian appears to have worked his way back up Neil Lennon’s list of defensive targets.

Halliche, who hasn’t featured at all for Fulham this season, had a successful trial with the Glasgow giants last month but appeared to have missed on the chance of a permanent move as Lennon had moved on to trying to sign other players. But the Express suggests that Lennon might have had a change of heart – and is considering approaching Fulham about a loan move, with a view to a full transfer at the end of the season.

Martin Jol considers Halliche, who has made just two appearances for the club since arriving from Benfica last summer, as a good defender but believes he won’t be able to break into the Fulham first team. He remains committed to offering the Algerian international, who nearly joined Swansea on loan during the last transfer window, an opportunity of regular first-team football.

Palace plan loan move for Halliche

Crystal Palace are preparing to take Rafik Halliche on loan in the January transfer window with a view to a permanent move, according to a report in the Daily Mail.

The Championship side are keen to strengthen their defensive options and the Algerian centre back does not feature in Martin Jol’s plans at Fulham. The former Benfica defender is expected to leave Craven Cottage this month and had been heavily tipped to join Celtic after having a trial with the Scottish giants last night, but Halliche is still waiting to hear whether manager Neil Lennon, who is currently assessing other options, wants to sign him.

Palace, who signed Kagisho Dikgacoi from Fulham in the summer after a successful loan period at Selhurst Park, would initially want the 25 year-old, who has only made two appearances for the Whites, on a month’s loan.

Halliche on trial with Celtic

Celtic have taken Fulham defender Rafik Halliche on trial.

The Algerian international was expected to join Swansea City on loan at the end of the summer transfer window but the paperwork was not completed in time to allow that move to go through. Halliche, who has made only two appearances since joining Fulham from Benfica last summer, has been included in the Celtic side that will take on Hibs in a reserve friendly this afternoon and could join the Scottish giants in January should he impress.

Hallice, 25, joined Fulham after an impressive 2010 World Cup with Algeria. He played in all three of his country’s group matches in South Africa and marked Wayne Rooney out of the game in their 0-0 draw with England. Halliche found his first-team opportunities limited following his £1.3m move from Benfica and made just two substitutes’ appearances for the Whites. On his debut, he brought down Craig Mackail-Smith to concede a penalty against Peterborough in the FA Cup and his only other first-team game saw him replace the injured Aaron Hughes against Stoke.

With the likes of Hughes, Brede Hangeland, Philippe Senderos and Chris Baird all competing for places at the heart of Fulham’s back four, Martin Jol has publicly stated that he will be trying to find a suitable destination for Halliche, whom he regards as an underrated defender, when the window re-opens.

Jol set to ring the changes

Martin Jol has confirmed that he will be rotating his squad for tomorrow’s Carling Cup tie at Chelsea.

The Fulham manager says ‘a lot of players’ will be involved in the derby at Stamford Bridge as he tries to find the right balance between rest and game time with a trip to West Brom in the league on Saturday.

We’ve got another day to decide but there will be a lot of players involved on Wednesday night. It’s not only about West Bromwich Albion this weekend – it’s also about the games that we’ve already played.

I involved my best players last Thursday against FC Twente and on Sunday they had another tough game against Manchester City. I have to make changes and I will do.

Jol had been hoping to include Rafik Halliche, who has stayed at Fulham after he was denied international clearance for his proposed loan move to Swansea, but the Algerian is a major doubt having fallen ill over the last couple of days.

Halliche is a doubt for Wednesday night. He has been ill today so we will have to assess his situation tomorrow. I’ll give him a phone call this evening and see how he is.

Yesterday I had a little thought to play him because he’s a decent player. I’ve got seven or eight defenders so there hasn’t been a place for him up until now.

Andrew Johnson won’t be in the squad for the trip to Stamford Bridge and could miss the game at the Hawthorns on Saturday as well. Bjorn Helge Riise will need ‘another week’ and Simon Davies is a long-term injury victim.

Despite his desire to tinker with his team, Jol still wants to progress on Wednesday.

The Carling Cup is there for teams like Fulham to win. The FA Cup is won eight out of ten times by one of the top four sides. If you’re going to win the Cup you’ve to play the best sides at some point

At some stage you have to play a team like Chelsea, even though it would have been nice to play them in the Final. Chelsea are also playing a lot of games at the moment so they will probably play different players.