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Fulham Rumour Round-Up: Ward-Prowse, Ocampos, Mina

Written by Cameron Ramsey on 26th June 2023

Well, nothing’s happened as yet, but as ever, paper talk’s sounded some proper corkers in the previous week or so and Cam will make sure you’re up-to-date with all the latest whisperings. The rumours are getting hotter and hotter alongside the weather and this here article will certainly do the opposite of cooling you down. Strewth.

James Ward-Prowse – Southampton

Famed for his pinpoint set-pieces, Southampton skipper James Ward Prowse would arguably be the best player in the Championship next season, but according to the Independent, Fulham are keen to snag the central midfielder from the Saints with immediate effect. It’s thought Soton will seek to attain £30m for the 11-time England international and by all accounts, Ward-Prowse favours a switch to SW6 over any other possible destination.

The 28-year-old has represented Southampton since 2003, moving through the youth ranks to become club captain and last season, despite his club’s misfortunes on the pitch, JWP rattled home 11 goals (one of which was a superb 35-yard free-kick against us at the Cottage) and he also plated up five assists, too. If Ward-Prowse is to join forces with the Whites, it could hinge on a current squad player departing to accommodate Southampton’s number eight but nevertheless, this is a potential deal that gets the juices flowing in so many ways.

Max Aarons – Norwich City

Capable cover for Kenny Tete is required as we prepare for the upcoming campaign and subject to a report published by The Telegraph, Fulham are considering Norwich City’s Max Aarons as a suitable understudy. The Canaries could accept a figure of £10m, or around that mark, and at 23 years of age, the attack-minded full-back would be a particularly cost-effective option.

Technically sound, Aarons is a full-back who’s comfortable in possession and his fleet of foot is another desirable trait of his. He made 45 appearances for the East Anglian outfit last term, an ever-present component within David Wagner’s matchday selection and he is also Lee Carsley’s first-choice right-back for England’s U21 side, and he is currently competing for the Young Lions in this summer’s Euro 2023 tournament.

Aster Vranckx – VfL Wolfsburg

It may not be a name that rolls off the tongue, but there are murmurs of alleged interest from Fulham in Wolfsburg’s Aster Vranckx, as per Belgian reporter Sacha Tavolieri. The 20-year-old central midfielder spent last season on loan at AC Milan but after a tough spell in Serie A, the Rossoneri opted against triggering £10m option-to-buy clause in the small print of the youngster’s contract and subsequently, his stocks have dropped and Wolfsburg could be tempted to cash in.

Taking to Twitter, Tavolieri disclosed: “Aster Vranckx should be sold by Wolfsburg this summer.” He then adds: “The preferred solution is the Premier League, where is file was presented in particular to Fulham and Crystal Palace.” Once linked with the likes of Liverpool and Manchester City, Vranckx was once viewed to be one of the continent’s brightest prospects and while his fledgling career’s seemingly ebbed away, a change of scenery on a permanent basis could be all the Belgium international requires to salvage a meaningful playing career.

Ferdi Kadioglu – Fenerbahce SK

Sources close to Turkish-Football are under the impression that Fulham are readying themselves to enter negations with Fenerbahce for their €20m-rated right-back Ferdi Kadioglu. It’s said the Whites recently dispatched scouts to monitor Kadioglu during Turkey’s Euro 2024 qualifiers against Latvia and Wales, games where his nation ultimately came out on top.

The 23-year-old is under contract at the Yellow Canaries until 2026 and with four goals and five assists in 48 outings overall for the Turkish Super Lig giants last season, it’s clear to see why Fenerbahce will play hard ball with any could-be suitor. Collectively, in 148 games since joining from NEC Nijmegen in 2019, Kadioglu’s racked up 14 goals and 17 assists, a record that speaks volumes and understandably, he’s also a firm fan favourite.

Ao Tanaka – Fortuna Dusseldorf

German publication Rheinische Post believes that Fulham and West Ham United will go head to head for Fortuna Dusseldorf’s Ao Tanaka, a roaming midfielder that averaged the second-highest rate of tackles per 90 minutes in the 2. Bundesliga in the season just gone.

Tanaka took to the turf for Japan during the 2022 World Cup, so he has international pedigree, and he’s capable of operating in a range of midfield roles, an adaptability which Silva may be curious of. Within the same referenced article, Fortuna’s sporting director, Klaus Allofs, is quoted as saying: “It was clear from the start which path Ao would like to go,

“The second division was not what he was looking for. But he didn’t come to me either and said he really wanted to leave.

“If there’s a situation that makes sense for both of you, then that’s totally fine. If that doesn’t work, he’ll remain our player and do a good job.”

Lucas Ocampos – Sevilla CF

A report pushed by Daily Mail suggests that Fulham are hot on the heels of Sevilla’s exciting Argentine winger Lucas Ocampos, who is said to be valued at €15m. The 28-year-old was loaned out to Ajax for the first half of the 2022-23 schedule and upon his return to the Estadio Ramón Sánchez-Pizjuán in January, he helped the Blanquirrojos claim their seventh Europa League title.

Ocampos is entering the final year of his contract with Sevilla, having joined from Marseille in 2019. A renewal has not been finalised between all respective parties and to relinquish the risk of losing him for free next summer, La Liga side could be forced to sell. Ocampos is fiery, a flair player by definition and if we can land him on the cheap, we’d have bargained ourselves a tremendous addition indeed.

Joshua Brenet – FC Twente

With just one year left on his contract at FC Twente, Joshua Brenet could be on the way out of the Eredivisie club for the slashed asking price of £1m, according to Evening Standard. As well as the Whites, the right-back is supposedly being eyed by Premier League newboys Burnley, however Turkish sides Besiktas, Fenerbahce and Istanbul Basaksehir are also monitoring the player’s situation.

Capped twice by Netherlands, Brenet, 29, could prove to be a shrewd purchase and with seven goals and four assists for Twente last season, a sum of a shallow million’s exceedingly enticing if he can replicate his return on English soil, even as Kenny Tete’s stand-in.

Yerry Mina – Free agent

Having been a trusted figure at Everton for five years, Yerry Mina is now unattached after leaving the Toffees in the summer and The Sun reckons the 28-year-old’s lining up a reunion with his former boss, Silva. Tosin Adarabioyo’s touted for an exit during the transfer period and Mina, for free, would be a realistic and idealistic replacement.

Keeping hold of Tosin while adding Mina would be advisable but in any case, the former FC Barcelona centre-back’s acclimatised to the Premier League and he’s gunning for a fresh challenge. The Colombia international would prefer to remain in England, Silva worked with him when he was in charge at Goodison Park, he signed him from Barca, and you just know that if he decides to ply his trade in SW6, Silva could get the very best out of him. Dangerous at set-pieces, a goal-scoring defender albeit an injury-prone one, Mina would be a decent squad member, with or without Tosin, although if I’m being completely honest, I can’t see him being more than a rotational option, Shane Duffy vibes. If we’re looking to bolster our defensive department seriously, perhaps we should aim slightly higher but as he’ll cost nothing whatsoever, why wouldn’t we welcome him in?

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