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Fulham Rumour Round-Up: Karlsson, Osimhen, Weah

Written by Cameron Ramsey on 22nd January 2023

Business as usual, Fulham are playing the waiting game and Cam’s back with another extensive round-up to tide us over.

Teams around us are making moves to strengthen but the Whites are yet to break the bank to purchase necessary additions of their own. However, it does look like a move for Arsenal’s right-back Cedric Soares still looking like it’s on the cards.

Despite there being no confirmed signings yet, we know our recruitment team bide their time in snagging January extras and with a brand new checklist to consider, our curiosity’s gripped.

Timothy Weah – Lille OSC

French publication L’Équipe believe that Everton, Brighton and Hove Albion and Fulham are tracking Lille OSC attacker Timothy Weah, son of iconic Liberian President and former AS Monaco, Paris Saint-Germain and Marseille forward George Weah.

Weah, 22, missed the opening portion of the current season with a foot injury but he did feature heavily for the USMNT at the 2022 World Cup, starting every game for his nation and netting against Wales. Predominantly used out wide, Weah is rapid, intense and it’s thought that Lille boss Paolo Foncesca does not want to sell the €15m man, who is also under contract at the Stade Pierre Mauroy until the summer of 2024

Hamari Traore – Stade Rennais FC

It’s Foot Mercato’s understanding that Serie A giants AS Roma are set to contest Fulham for Rennes right-back Hamari Traore. Out of contract at his Ligue 1 employers in the coming summer, Traore could depart for a reasonable figure of £3.5m in January, and the player’s on-field worth certainly exceeds that supposed sum.

The 30-year-old Mali international has been at Rennes since July, 2017, and this season he has skippered his club, which is indicative of his leadership traits. His disciplinary record isn’t gleaming (6 yellow cards to date) and in 23 outings for SRFC this term he has a single goal and a solitary assist, so there’s definitely room for improvement.

Hirving Lozano – SSC Napoli

Fulham, Arsenal and Newcastle United – as per a report pushed by Fichajes – are supposedly circling for SC Napoli’s Mexican striker Hirving ‘Chucky’ Lozano. The 27-year-old has plied his trade for Napoli since the summer of 2019 however it’s become apparent that the former PSV Eindhoven man is unsettled at the current Serie A leaders, and is wanting a fresh start.

Lozano is not Luciano Spalletti’s main man up top but as he’s fully capable of manning both flanks, as well as a central position, his adaptability is a huge bonus and in 23 games in total this season, he has 4 goals and 3 assists. Lozano burst into prominence at the 2018 World Cup, he’s a significant player for his national set-up and while he may be perceived to be a secondary figure at I ciucci, he’s still a highly dangerous marksman and a plethora of esteemed sides will surely be alerted.

Milan van Ewijk – SC Heerenveen

An article published by Leeuwarder Courant suggests that Eredivisie outfit SC Heerenveen aren’t opposed to allowing their forward-thinking right-back Milan van Ewijk to leave during the January transfer window and Fulham are thought to be the frontrunners.

If solid interest amounts for van Ewijk, Heerenveen would prefer to get negotiations moving as soon as possible, in order to pinpoint a suitable replacement, and the 22-year-old could be purchased for a fee of £10m. With 3 goals in 16 games to his credit, the Dutch U21 representative shows promise but if a switch to the Premier League doesn’t materialise, the German Bundesliga is apparently an alternative platform he’d like to explore.

Kevin Danso – RC Lens

Subject to a report circulated by JeunesFooteux, Premier League duo Newcastle and Fulham are allegedly eyeing RC Lens centre-back Kevin Danso, and the Austrian defender is also on the radars of various unnamed Bundesliga sides.

A mainstay within the French club’s defensive line, Danso’s reputation has elevated since his Southampton days and as he began his fledgling career at both Reading and Milton Keynes Dons, a jump back to English shores presumably wouldn’t be off-putting. Lens are flying high in the Ligue 1 standings, they’re second to PSG with 44 points in the bank, so a premature switch given his club’s commendable position is doubtful to say the least.

Josh Maja – Bordeaux

Writing for The Sun, our very own Isabelle Barker revealed that Josh Maja has been touted for a £4m return to Fulham in January, as the Englishman is in fine form for Bordeaux in the French second division. Maja scored 3 goals in 15 appearances for the Whites two season ago during a brief loan spell from Girondins and this season, as it stands, he’s Ligue 2’s top scorer with 11 goals in 19 outings.

Maja, formerly of Fulham’s youth set-up, is also allegedly being tailed by La Liga side Real Valladolid, and while the majority of Fulham’s fan base are sceptical of Maja’s underlying quality, his return in a reasonably challenging division is a marker of the striker’s growth as a reliable goal-getter.

Andries Noppert – SC Heerenveen

We head back to Friesland now as it’s become apparent (as per Vi Nieuws) that Fulham are observing the performances of Heerenveen goalkeeper Andries Noppert, who was Louis van Gaal’s preferred stopper for Netherlands at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

Towering at 6’8, Noppert can reach either side of the target with ease and his size doesn’t impede his athleticism, either. The 28-year-old impressed between the sticks for his national side, he was a fairly unknown quantity before the World Cup but in 16 Eredivisie games this season, the 28-year-old’s kept 7 clean sheets and as Marek Rodak cannot attain consistent minutes, at all, the former Go Ahead Eagles stopper could be better placed to challenge our unflappable No.1 Bernd Leno.

Hector Bellerin – FC Barcelona

Once a long-standing Arsenal favourite, FC Barcelona’s Hector Bellerin – according to Catalunya Radio – is allegedly being monitored by Fulham but they will only enquire about the Spanish right-back if they fail to land Cedric Soares from the Gunners.

Bellerin, 27, has only mustered 7 appearances for the Blaugrana this season, having signed a 1-year deal with the club in the summer as a free agent, although it’s assumed that style-conscious fullback doesn’t wish to bid farewell to the Camp Nou in the coming days and weeks before the window comes to a close.

Victor Osimhen – SSC Napoli

Courtesy of TuttoMercatoWeb, the most ludicrous transfer rumour of the decade has been conceived. The recognisable Italian outlet divulged that as well as Arsenal and Newcastle, Fulham are pursuing Napoli’s prolific Nigerian hitman Victor Osimhen, and if ever there was such a thing as a guaranteed non-starter, this is it.

The 24-year-old has fired his team to the summit of the Serie A table, he has 14 goals and 4 assists in 19 appearances and in credible conversation, he’s been branded a £250m predator that’s destined to rival the likes of Erling Haaland as the modern game’s most feared final third presence. Needless to say, I’d be thrilled to have him at the club as Aleksandar Mitrovic’s prized understudy and while it’s an exceedingly pleasant concept I think we can safely declare that this particular link is complete and utter nonsense.

Jesper Karlsson – AZ Alkmaar

Despite suffering an injury that’s had him slumped on the sidelines for 2 months, AZ Alkmaar’s Jesper Karlsson, disclosed by JeunesFooteux, is on Brighton and Fulham’s mid-season wish lists, however it’s Tottenham Hotspur that supposedly hold the aces in the hunt for the Swedish winger’s signature.

Karlsson bagged 21 goals for AZ last season and while he’s had to endure game-limiting stints out of action, the Eredivisie side will seek to gain at least €20m for their sought-after star, and I distinctly recall Ben Jarman going gaga for him during the summer and that’s a seal of approval that carries notable acclaim and prestige.

Ben Whiteman – Preston North End

Fulham are in the market to bolster their midfield ranks and The Sun are under the impression that the Whites are hot on the heels of Preston North End’s Ben Whiteman. A Manchester United trainee valued at £5m, Whiteman joined Preston from Doncaster in January, 2021, and he is entering the last 18 months of his contract at Deepdale.

The 26-year-old’s a hardened holding midfielder and a constant component of Ryan Lowe’s matchday selection. Whiteman also knows his way to goal and he can create chances, too, and while his record isn’t necessarily remarkable (2 goals and 2 assists in 26 Championship outings), he has the tools to make the step-up to the English top-flight, even at a rotational capacity.

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