Silly season combined with the lingering Covid-induced malaise we’ve grown to accept. Yes, it’s a new year with fresh beginnings, but not as we’ve ever known it. Fulham’s most recent scheduled meetings have been cancelled due to the pandemic, and certain players’ moronic festive antics, although the perennial want for reinforcements remains and Scott Parker has expressed his intentions for the coming month.
A winger and a striker is what our relegation-battling squad requires but the tabloids don’t quite see it that way, as we well know, so for our first instalment of the January transfer window, we’ll explore the rumours that have been doing the rounds with a beady, yet discerning eye. Some names are strangely familiar, others are refreshingly new, however all are particularly enticing.
Mathias Normann – FC RostovEmbed from Getty Images
A player that was on the lips of many a Fulham fan on Deadline Day in the summer, Norwegian newspaper Verdens Gang – via LancsLive – are under the impression that FC Rostov’s Mathias Normann is angling for a mid-term move away from the Russian Premier League side, with Burnley, Southampton and Fulham all circling for his wantaway signature.
The midfielder was linked with a potential switch the the Cottage with hours of the season’s initial transfer window left, but the supposed links appeared thin and tenuous. The Norway international has plied his trade on English soil before with Brighton and Hove Albion’s U23 set-up, although he never made a competitive appearance for the seasiders.
Ozan Tufan – Fenerbahce SKEmbed from Getty Images
Not much has surfaced regarding this, however Turkish sports journalist Ekrem Konur disclosed on his Twitter feed that Fenerbahce SK’s Ozan Tufan is an alleged target of Crystal Palace, Everton and Fulham, as well as suitors in Germany and Spain.
It’s thought the Turkish Super Lig side will aim to achieve a figure of €20m if they’re to allow the 25-year-old to depart but, as the Whites’ midfield department is already sufficiently represented, a swoop for his versatile services would be highly unlikely and unneeded.
Kai Wagner – Philadelphia UnionEmbed from Getty Images
One of Major League Soccer’s brightest stars, the Daily Mail reported back in November, 2020, that Kai Wagner of Philadelphia Union is allegedly being monitored by West Ham United and, of course, Fulham.
The 23-year-old German left-back, formerly of FC Augsburg and FC Schalke 04 and most recently Wurzburger Kickers, has an estimated worth of £3.5m, a steal when you take the defender’s stature, age and potential into consideration. Wagner has made 41 MLS outings for the Union, with 8 assists and 1 goal and for a fullback, that’s a fairly impressive return.
Alfie Doughty – Charlton AthleticEmbed from Getty Images
Fulham should certainly prioritise wingers and strikers during the coming month or so and if they’re searching for hungry, encouraging talent, they need not look any further than Charlton Athletic’s aspiring 21-year-old, Alfie Doughty. As per a report published by The Athletic, Scottish Premier League titans Celtic and Rangers accompany the Whites in their pursuit of Doughty who, despite picking up an injury in October, has supplied 1 goal and 2 assists in 7 for the League One squad.
The Whites met their match against the Addicks twice last season and Fulham fans witnessed first-hand what the pacey youngster’s capable of and though he’s raw and a little rough round the edges, I’d certainly press forward with negotiations because he’s brimming with promise.
Nabil Bentaleb – FC Shalke 04Embed from Getty Images
Subject to an article issued by The Chronicle, Bundesliga basement boys Schalke are prepared to offload Nabil Bentaleb, who was slapped with a fixed suspension by the club, and it’s muttered that Fulham and Newcastle United are tracking the situation intently.
Bentaleb, 26, spent the second half of the 2019/20 campaign with the Magpies but failed to make a lasting impact upon Steve Bruce’s plans. Nevertheless, Newcastle are seemingly in the running for the exiled midfielder and the Whites, apparently, were tailing the Algerian in the summer. During the coming weeks, Bentaleb could be available for discounted figure or, strikingly, for free, although I’d steer clear as his behaviour and temperament’s factored heavily in his condemning dismissal at the Veltins-Arena.
Siriki Dembele – Peterborough UnitedEmbed from Getty Images
Peterborough United’s Siriki Dembele was connected with a proposed switch to pastures new in the summer and now, according to Football Insider, the 24-year-old winger could be snagged in the winter window, with Celtic, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Palace and Fulham all said to be tailing the Scotsman of Ivorian descent.
Likened to Ademola Lookman, Dembele is deceptive, agile and productive. In 17 League One games, Dembele has bagged 5 goal alongside 5 assists, making him one of the division’s most fertile and sought-after weapons. For a proposed sum of £5m, he’s certainly a genuine option and one to watch closely.
Jorge Fernandes – Vitoria de GuimaraesEmbed from Getty Images
With a £16m price tag pinned to his head, Vitoria de Guimaraes’ Jorge Fernandes is a central defender that’ll cost a pretty penny but, given he’s safe and assured, the 23-year-old could be a very worthwhile investment if Fulham, Newcastle and Southampton wish to empty their pockets. The Daily Mail understands that the Premier League trio are interested in the Portugal U21 international and though we’re covered centrally in SW6, dipping into the market with Fernandes in mind would be tempting.
A product of FC Porto, Fernandes jumped to Os Vimaranenses from Turkish side Kasimpasa SK for just £720k in the summer although his adjustable, dependable qualities have bolstered his reputation. With Fernandes shoring up the heart of their back four, Vitoria are particularly difficult to break down and as a by-product of the defender’s expertise, they are 5th in the Liga NOS standings. We’ve no real need for further defensive additions but in terms of future prospectus, Fernandes is a name to look out for indefinitely.