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Areola completes Fulham loan switch

Paris Saint-Germain goalkeeper Alphonse Areola has joined Fulham on a season-long loan, the club have confirmed this evening.

The French international, who spent last season on loan at Real Madrid, came through the PSG youth academy and honed his skills at the famed Clarefontaine development centre. The 27 year-old, who was part of the French squad that won the World Cup in Russia in 2018, has also won domestic titles in France and Spain. He helped Lens win Ligue 2, starred as Lens reached the League Cup final and then lifted Villarreal to fourth in La Liga and a run to the semi-finals of the Europa League in successive loan spells.

He has won back-to-back titles with PSG in recent years and made nine appearances for Real Madrid last season. Areola could well become Fulham’s number one, despite Marek Rodak’s exceptional performances after breaking into the side last season.

Areola told Fulham’s official website:

“I am very happy everything is done. Scott Parker called me and I had a good feeling. He said he really wanted me. Fulham is a historic club in London and I have heard a lot about the stadium. I hope this season will be a good one for us. I want to bring my energy and do everything for this team to keep us where we belong to be.”

Fulham’s director of football operations Tony Khan said:

“I’m thrilled to welcome Alphonse Areola to our Fulham family! Alphonse has experience at the very highest level, as he’s played in France’s national team, won the league title with PSG, had success at RC Lens, Bastia and with Villarreal, and most recently he played for Real Madrid as they won La Liga last season.

We’re excited that he’s joining us, and he’ll be an excellent addition to our squad as for our Premier League campaign ahead! Come on Fulham!

Fulham discussing Areola loan deal

Fulham are holding discussions with Paris Saint-Germain about a potential loan move for goalkeeper Alphonse Areola, according to a Sky Sports News report.

The Whites are poised to send Marcus Bettinelli on loan to Middlesbrough this week and are now in the market for an experienced back up to Marek Rodak, who is expected to be their number one in the Premier League this season. Areola, who has won three senior caps for France, spent last season on loan at Real Madrid as part of the deal that took Keylor Navas to PSG, making nine appearances in total for the Spanish giants.

The 27 year-old was a highly rated goalkeeper in youth football, who had forged a big reputation as he came through the youth ranks at PSG. He made his league debut in 2013 and spent successive season-long loan spells with Lens, Bastia and Villarreal. Areola has made 107 senior appearances for his boyhood club, helping them win back-to-back titles in 2016/2017 and 2017/18, although he eventually lost his place in the side to summer signings.

Dembele eyes PSG return

Fulham striker Moussa Dembele has set his sights on a return to PSG amid widespread reports he will leave Fulham come June.

Fulham striker Moussa Dembele says it would be “a dream” to return to boyhood club Paris Saint-Germain.

Dembele left the PSG ranks for Fulham in 2012 and has come to prominence in the Championship this season with 12 goals in 36 league games.

Tottenham were heavily linked with the striker’s signing in January and have been tipped for a move in the off-season, when Dembele’s contract is set to expire.

But Dembele suggests Mauricio Pochettino may be forced to look elsewhere if PSG come calling.

“Like every Parisian, I dream of playing for PSG,” Dembele told L’Equipe. “Why could it not happen some day? If they want me…

“I left in 2012 when [Zlatan] Ibrahimovic and [Ezequiel] Lavezzi joined the club. I would have gotten little playing time. PSG were not counting on me.

“I know that some players have gotten their chance since, like Jean-Kevin Augustin, but I preferred to leave and try my luck elsewhere.”

Dembele was part of the same generation as Bayern Munich winger Kingsley Coman at PSG and he has only good memories of his time at the Paris club.

“We went through some great moments together,” he added.

“I have nothing but good memories. I learned everything I know at PSG.

“We were unbeatable. At some point, we had a team with [Mike] Maignan, [Adrien] Rabiot, [Hervin] Ongenda, Kingsley and myself!”

PSG plotting move for Roberts

Paris Saint Germain are considering making an offer for Fulham teenager Patrick Roberts, according to a report in this morning’s Daily Mail.

The England youth international has been heavily linked with a summer transfer to Manchester City, who have reportedly tabled two offers for the midfielder over the past month. Fulham have placed a £10m price tag on the brightest prospect to come through the Motspur Park academy in many years, but Manchester City are reluctant to match the valuation given that Roberts has just a year to run on his current contract at Craven Cottage. The Championship side have offered the 18 year-old a new deal, with a rumoured £5,000 a week salary, but it is believed that Roberts feels this might be the right time to move on.

Should City fail to agree a deal with Fulham, the French champions could swoop in and secure Roberts’ signature at the end of his contract for as little as £300,000. Overseas clubs are only obliged to pay a nominal fee for youth players out of contract at their parent clubs, whereas the final fee for a domestic transfer would be set by an FA tribunal.

Roberts, who has been at Fulham since the age of 13, has been watched by scouts from all over Europe as he progressed through the Fulham youth team set-up. He was one of the key performers as Fulham reached the FA Youth Cup final in 2014 but did not figure as prominently as predicted during the club’s difficult first season back in the Championship, making just 20 appearances with most of them coming as a substitute. He has been a regular in the England youth sides, starring as the Under 17 team won the European Championships.

Chantôme seeking PSG exit

Fulham target Clement Chantôme is trying to negotiate an early end to his Paris Saint-Germain contract, according to reports from France this weekend.

The 25 year-old midfielder, who has found first-team football hard to come by in Paris, does not feature in Laurent Blanc’s plans for the new season and is seeking a mutual termination of his current deal, which still has two years to run. If Chantôme was successful in securing his release, there were be a host of suitors for his services. Lyon, Stade Rennais and Wolfsburg would join Martin Jol in the race to sign the French international.