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Fulham Transfer Rumour Round-Up: Orban, Solanke, Zapata

Written by Cameron Ramsey on 28th August 2023

Another week passes by in a flash, another seven motionless days wasted and in the meantime, as always, Cam’s listed the latest and you just know that while it’s nice to ponder, we probably wont land any of ’em.

We still have so, so much to do and as we pinpoint target after target, our Premier League peers seem to be snagging signing after signing without a hitch. Something has got to give because the masses, as if they weren’t so already, are getting restless. Pull that bloody finger out, Tony, nobody really gives a toss about wrestling, so put your money where your mouth is and get down to some big boy business.

Gift Orban – Gent

Sources close to Football Insider are under the impression that Tottenham Hotspur and Fulham will go head to head for Gent’s prolific striker Gift Orban. The 21-year-old only joined the Belgian Pro League side from Norwegian outfit Stabaek in January but certainly he hit the ground running as he dispatched a resounding 20 goals in 22 outings.

This season, Orban has a tally of six goals in six games, which is an unreal return, of course, and as the Nigeria international still has four years left on his contract at Ghelamco Arena, Gent are likely to demand big, big money for their trigger-happy hotshot. Orban is a real goal getter, he is in red-hot form so if we’ve £50, to play with, I’d definitely test De Buffalos’ resolve.

Dominic Solanke – AFC Bournemouth

Again, Football Insider’s informants aren’t sparing with the gossip as they’ve notified the publication that West Ham United and Fulham are supposedly eyeing Bournemouth’s top marksman Dominic Solanke. A striker that’s forged a habit of netting against us, Solanke’s ability in front of the target is unparalleled on the south coast and his 14 goal contributions last season helped the Cherries avoid relegation from the Premier League, seemingly against all odds.

It’s stated that West Ham have supposedly lodged an offer of £35-40m for the 25-year-old however Fulham, who have not yet submitted a bid, are likely to table £25-30m. Personally, I really like the idea of Solanke spearheading our attack but truthfully, I cannot see him jumping ship to SW6, not when Bournemouth are in a relatively stable condition. If we were to convince him back to an area of the capital he knows very well indeed, we’d have to ensure that our plan for the future is sound because on the south coast, under new ownership, the outlook is rosy.

Josip Juranovic – Union Berlin

Just a matter of months after departing Celtic for Union Berlin, Josip Juranovic could have his bags packed for the Premier League as renowned German outlet Kicker believe Fulham are circling. It’s said the Croatia international right-back is displeased with his lack of involvement at the defiant Bundesliga competitors and a figure of £10m is thought to be enough to secure his services.

While he’s a recognised right-back, the 28-year-old has also been deployed on the left but even if he was to venture back to the British Isles, a starting spot is by no means guaranteed as he’d almost certainly play second fiddle to both Kenny Tete and Antonee Robinson. Union will embark on their maiden Champions League campaign this season so with a congested schedule, perhaps there’ll be greater playing time for Juranovic as the season progresses.

Luiz Felipe – Real Betis

Formerly of Lazio and Salernitana, Real Betis centre-back Luiz Felipe – subject to a TUTTOmercatoWEB article – is being touted for a transfer to either Nottingham Forest or Fulham. Valued at €18m, the Brazilian-born defender represents the Italian national selection and is heralded as a no-nonsense enforcer.

At 26, Felipe’s best years are presumably ahead of him and this season, with La Liga season two games in, he’s safeguarded his side towards a 2-1 victory against Villarreal, and a goalless draw against Atletico Madrid. The asking price is not yet known but as Betis aren’t in the greatest financial state, a discount could very well be applied if negotiations are approached sensibly.

Alexis Saelemaekers – AC Milan

Announced by transfer expert Rudy Galetti, Real Betis have allegedly agreed personal terms with AC Milan winger Alexis Saelemakers although Wolves and Fulham are waiting and watching while discussions develop. Galetti believed Milan aren’t willing to loan the Belgium international, which could be a critical stumbling block for Los Verdiblancos.

Last season wasn’t the most prolific of campaigns for Saelemakers, but he is perceived to be a highly creative attacker which can operate in a range of roles on both flanks. Depending on the Rossoneri’s estimation, the 24-year-old could be a tempting option to pursue and in the coming weeks, it’ll be interesting to find out what eventually happens to the former Anderlecht starlet because a fresh challenge could be all he needs to truly fulfil his potential.

Ousmane Diomande – Sporting CP

He may have a staggering release clause of €80m but Sporting CP centre-back Ousmane Diomande is apparently being monitored by Fulham. The validity of the speculation is questionable however Últimas transferências has cited Foot Mercato transfer journalist Santi Aouna as the source although nothing else of note has materialised.

This is more than likely a non-starter, pure noise, but at the very least it’s another figure to add to the ever-expanding list of could-be Fulham signings. Diomande, 19, is of Ivorian descent and is held in very high regard by his Portuguese employers. He joined Sporting in January from Danish side FC Midtjylland and he’s now a regular starter. He’s certainly headed for a very rewarding career, wherever he eventually ends up at.

Yukinari Sugawara – AZ Alkmaar

Subject to a Daily Mail report, Fulham have allegedly set their sights on AZ Alkmaar’s Yukinari Sugawara, a Japan international right-back, who is said to be open to a move to the Premier League. Tete has flagged up as a proposed target of German giants Bayern Munich and in light of the serial Bundesliga champion’s interest, the Whites are lining up possible replacements and Sugawara has to be top of the list.

For £10m, the 23-year-old would be a steal in today’s inflated market as he’s perceived to be one of the Eredivisie’s most consistent fullbacks. A tireless worker, Sugawara would be a tremendous addition to the squad, regardless to whether Kenny stays or goes this summer. A deal is yet to be struck between Fulham and AZ but by all accounts, personal terms will not be an issue.

Duván Zapata – Atalanta BC

Atalanta’s experienced striker Duvan Zapata’s suggested move to AS Roma fell through and now – per Sky Sports – Fulham are allegedly weighing up an offer for the 32-year-old in the wake of Aleksandar Mitrovic’s departure. Silva wants at least five more additions before the summer transfer window’s 1 September deadline and the Colombian international could be a prime successor.

Having said that, Zapata’s record last season was pretty woeful for a player of his calibre. He only found the back of the net twice in 27 outings, and if he’s the man that’s to replace Mitrovic, his form has to improve dramatically. His overall tally for Gli Orobici I Nerazzurri is impressive, mind. He has 81 goals and 43 assists to his credit in 190 appearances, so while his productions reached an all-time low, a jump to the Premier League could trigger a resurgence for the number nine that’s known as “The Big Panther”.

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