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Vietto set for Sporting move

According to Portuguese newspaper Record Fulham striker Luciano Vietto has agreed a five-year deal with Sporting, and will be joining the Lisbon side in the summer.

Vietto actually belongs to Atletico Madrid, who loaned him to Fulham until the end of the season.

However, the fact he’s scored only one goal for the Cottagers didn’t help his chances of a permanent move, especially with the club now relegated.

The player has agreed to receive a salary of €2m per season at Sporting, and only needs to sort the performance bonuses before the deal is completely closed.

Sporting are not paying a penny for the transfer, according to Record.

Atletico Madrid owed the Lions some money for the transfer of Gelson Martins at the start of the season, and have agreed to pay a fee of €20m plus Vietto.

Fulham’s fabulous fightback restores belief

I don’t mind admitting that I was flagging a bit last night. The monotony of the Premier League was beginning to wear me down. It has been something of a traumatic season. The loss of Slavisa Jokanovic was keenly felt because of the identity and sumptuous football that he got Fulham playing and, of course, the magical run towards the end of the season and an unforgettable day out at Wembley. The realisation that this squad was plucky and determined rather than properly equipped to be competitive at this level meant that grim gallows humour has been the order of the day for a few weeks now.

It was no surprise that the gut-wrenching defeat by Spurs was followed by the quick concession of a couple of goals to Glenn Murray last night. Whatever Claudio Ranieri does – and the defence has become a lot better since he took charge – our back line seems keep on making damaging mistakes. Murray could have had a first-half hat-trick and it wasn’t as if Brighton played us off the park or he was making magnificent runs. The basics of getting goalside and shutting down crosses from the flanks are honed at a young level: it is as our defenders have forgotten everything they have been taught.

The comeback was as glorious as the weather was icy. There was simply no inkling of it coming. Jean-Michael Seri has had his detractors since that summer move from Nice but he was outstanding in the middle of the field. Some of the one-touch stuff Fulham played in the second half was reminiscent of that Jokanovic side at its silky best. I am still firmly of the belief that our best side includes Tom Cairney, whose cameo on the right side of midfield injected some class into proceedings, but whether Ranieri will be willing to jettison his back five to fit Fulham’s two best passers into the team remains to be seen.

It does give Fulham’s previously rather forlorn fight against the drop a real shot in the arm. There’s no question that Aleksandar Mitrovic is one of the best strikers in the division and it is clear that he relishes a scrap. His first goal last night was a throwback to goals strikers snaffled in the 1940s and 1950s and the second was a great illustration of his desire and aerial ability as he beat Mat Ryan when Lewis Dunk was blatantly backing into him. He clearly has a great understanding with Ryan Babel, who continues to look a smart acquisition, and Luciano Vietto built on an encouraging cameo at Brighton with probably his most complete display in a Fulham shirt.

I do hope there is a change of emphasis in Ranieri’s strategy going forward. It is clear that he is the archetypal Italian coach who wants his teams to be cautious and hard to beat, but barring a phalanx of defenders arriving at Motspur Park in the closing days of the transfer window, I don’t think this Fulham squad has the personnel to play the way he would like. Instead, we are packed with ball-players and attacking talent – the route to safety could well be found by allowing our artisans to express themselves.

The last time the Whites came back from 2-0 down to win a Premier League fixture was that incredible revival against Manchester City that sparked the Great Escape under Roy Hodgson. Last night, reminded me a bit more of that feverish fightback against Tottenham at Loftus Road capped by Sylvain Legwinski’s injury-time winner. Momentum is vital in a relegation run-in – we can’t afford to waste ours now.

Fulham seal loan deal for Vietto

Fulham have taken Atletico Madrid forward Luciano Vietto on a season-long loan, the club have confirmed this evening.

The 24 year-old striker spent part of the last two seasons on loan with Valencia and Sevilla and was also part of the Atletico Madrid side that reached the Champions’ League final and finished third in La Liga. He has struggled for game time despite teaming up with Diego Simeone, the manager who gave him his first taste of professional football at Racing Club in Argentina, and was eager to gain a taste of English football.

Vietto told Fulham’s official website tonight:

I’m very happy to come to the club and sign. I’m very excited to get started with the team tomorrow. It’s an important change for me because this is my first experience here in England. I hope to do as well as possible.

Fulham’s vice chairman and head of football operations, Tony Khan, said:

I’m pleased to announce that Fulham Football Club has signed Luciano Vietto on loan from Atlético Madrid. Luciano is a versatile young attacking player, and he has already gained great experience against elite competition in La Liga. Luciano is a very addition and we’re very excited that he has joined the club.

Fulham linked with Vietto loan

Fulham are considering a loan deal for Atletico Madrid striker Lucas Vietto, according to a Daily Mail report this afternoon.

The Whites have been offered the chance to sign the Argentinian forward on a season-long loan deal, which could help facilitate the departure of Rui Fonte to Olympiakos. The 24 year-old has struggled to fit in at Atleti after starring for Villareal and was farmed out to Valencia last season.

Vietto was handed his professional breakthrough by current Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone, when the former Argentina midfielder was in charge of Racing Club. He scored 18 times in 63 appearances as a teenager and earned a 5.5m move to Villareal, where he scored 20 goals in a single season – and was named La Liga’s player of the month in December 2014. Vietto has struggled for game time at Atleti, despite being under Simeone’s wing again, scoring three times in 20 first-team appearances.

He impressed in a pre-season outing against Arsenal, where he was named man of the match in a 1-1 draw, and Fulham may view him as useful back up for Aleksandar Mitrovic. If Fonte is set to leave for Greece, as has been rumoured this evening, adding to Fulham’s attacking resources will be essential ahead of tonight’s 5pm transfer deadline. At the moment, only Aboubakar Kamara, Neeskens Kebano and the injured Floyd Ayite exist in the first-team squad as plausible options up front.