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Fulham Transfer Rumour Round-Up: Pavlidis, Phillips, Firmino

Written by Cameron Ramsey on 4th January 2024

It’s a little later than scheduled, we’ll blame those January blues, but the first month of any year is no time for slacking so Cam’s gathered all the latest noises from the tabloids and he’s jotted them here, for you to peruse with hope and wonder. This ain’t gone off leftovers, this is a proper mid-season filler with extra oof and phwoar.

Vangelis Pavlidis – AZ Alkmaar

There’s a host of hopeful suitors courting AZ Alkmaar’s in-form striker Vangelis Pavlidis and it’s Greek outlet Sport 24‘s belief that the 25-year-old is included on Fulham’s January shopping list, as the Whites step-up their efforts to land an out-and-out bagsman. If this is the case, they need not look any further than the man in question because he is the very definition of value for money.

Pavlidis has bust the net 18 times in 16 games in the Eredivisie and he has also struck three in the UEFA Conference League, returns which make him one of the continent’s deadliest attackers. The number nine’s contract at AZ runs until 2025 and it’s said the Greece international is not wanting to renew, so this could force his employer’s hand to sell before it’s too late. A figure of €25m could tempt the Dutch outfit to sell, but any could-be buyer will need to better AC Milan reported summer bid of €15m which was, of course, rebuffed.

Amad Diallo – Manchester United

Having spent the 2022/23 season on loan at Championship side Sunderland, Amad Diallo could be set to depart Manchester United on a temporary basis yet again in the coming weeks and Fulham – as per the Sunderland Echo – are one of many sides that are keeping tabs on the young winger’s immediate future. He registered 14 league goals for the Black Cats last term and was a shining light in the English second division for his flare, energy and enthusiasm.

As well as the Whites, Everton, Crystal Palace and Wolves have all been named in the chasing pack for the 21-year-old’s burgeoning expertise and Silva’s side know first-hand what the Ivory Coast international is capable of. Diallo featured against Fulham in last season’s FA Cup fourth round, a match-up that needed a replay at the Stadium of Light, and while the Premier League side eventually progressed 2-1 on aggregate, Diallo was a constant threat and he certainly caught the eye. Diallo recently returned to Erik Ten Hag’s selection following a knee injury but to aid his rehabilitation and development, departing Old Trafford could be ideal.

Paul Onuachu – Southampton

We try to refrain from using Ekrem Konur as a credible source because we’re convinced he’s an NPC but the self-professed Turkish transfer expert is adamant that Brentford, Burnley, West Ham United and Fulham are keen on Southampton’s Paul Onuachu, who is on loan at Super Lig outfit Trabzonspor. It’s probably unfair to judge a player on half a season at St. Mary’s but in my opinion, this has to be a big, fat, hard miss if there’s even a shred of truth in Konur’s words.

Despite his stats being very decent indeed at Trabzonspor (8 goals and 2 assists in 13 appearances to be exact), the 29-year-old simply isn’t built for the Premier League, as he proved with the Saints as they were relegated from the top-flight last season. Onuachu is over 2 meters tall, which is mental, really, and though he cuts an imposing figure, the Nigeria international cannot compete with the pace of PL football so we’re best to search elsewhere for strikers that are better equipped.

Sasa Kalajdzic – Wolverhampton Wanderers

A striker that’s nearly as tall as Onuachu is Wolves’ Austria international Sasa Kalajdzic and Sport1 have disclosed that Fulham and West Ham are weighing up a mid-season swoop for the 26-year-old. Kalajdzic has 2 goals in 11 Premier League outings for his employers this season and again, we should definitely palm this one to the bottom of the pile and move on.

He just isn’t consistent enough. We’d probably be better off keeping hold of Carlos Vinicius and as he’s contracted at Molineux until 2027, Wolves are in no particular hurry to cash-in on the towering striker at a cut price, or at all for that matter, so we’ve surely got to swerve this anyway. Wouldn’t be a worthy investment, that’s all there is to it.

Said Benrahma – West Ham United

Formerly of Hounslow Bus Stop FC, Said Benrahma could bid farewell to West Ham in the winter transfer window as renowned French publication Footmercato are under the impression that Ligue 1 side Olympique Lyonnais and Fulham are the leading frontrunners for the dropped Algeria international’s signature.

Wolves have also been mentioned but it’s the Whites and Les Gones that have been pinpointed predominantly. Benrahma, 28, isn’t enjoying the best of seasons at the London Stadium and though he’s zero goals to his name in 20 outings, the Hammers have supposedly pinned a €23m price tag on the winger’s head and for that reason alone, I’m out.

Kalvin Phillips – Manchester City

Kalvin Phillips’ proposed January jump to Newcastle United could be in jeopardy and it’s emerged – via i News – that Palace and Fulham are both eager to lure the Manchester City midfielder to London, if the Magpies fail to ramp up their pursuit of the 28-year-old. Newcastle are allegedly having second thoughts on acquiring the England international, who has only played 319 minutes under Pep Guardiola so far this term, but if he is to leave the Etihad in the coming weeks, it is likely to be on loan.

Phillips joined City from Leeds United for £45m in the summer of 2022 and since his move to the serial Premier League winners, he has struggled to make his mark. Nonetheless, for reasons unknown, Gareth Southgate continually selects Phillips every single time he names a national squad, it completely unjustified, and the only way he’ll truly earn his Three Lions spot for the upcoming Euro 2024 tournament is if he actually plays regularly so obviously, a move to a club where he’ll be first on the team sheet is surely logical. Would I take him at Fulham in spite of this? Absolutely. Would I accept him if it meant Joao Palhinha walked? Not a bloody chance and what a stupid thing to suggest.

Luca Langoni – Boca Juniors

Subject to a report circulated by Boca Noticias, Fulham are supposedly making good headway in their charge for Boca Juniors winger Luca Langoni. No formal bid has been made by the Whites however club president Juan Roman Riquelme is aware of the mounting interest in Boca’s 21-year-old prospect and now, the Argentinian giants are bracing themselves.

Langoni sustained a nasty muscle injury midway through the 2022/23 campaign which kept him out of action for a number months but he is showing promise at La Bombonera. He may not be the most productive wide man but at his age, he’s certainly showing signs of his true potential and if Fulham don’t make their supposed intentions known, it won’t be ling until he’s subject to a serious bid from a European side.

Teden Mengi – Luton Town

It’s not quite ‘here we go’ but world famous transfer specialist Fabrizio Romano recently revealed that Palace and Fulham are monitoring Luton Town’s impressive young defender Teden Mengi and I am all ears. Following a fairly chequered start to life at Luton, Mengi, 21, has established himself in Rob Edwards’ starting XI and he has gone from strength to strength.

The Manchester United graduate previously plied his trade for Birmingham City and Derby County on loan and once his contract at Old Trafford ceased last summer, the Hatters snapped him up. Brave and tenacious, Mengi embodies everything Luton are striving to achieve in the Premier League and as they’ll need all hands on deck if they’re to stave off relegation, it’s unlikely that either the Eagles or the Whites will snag him in January. If they go down, and if Tosin Adarabioyo doesn’t sign on, bring him in.

Roberto Firmino – Al-Ahli

This would be sensational. Any revelation fed by talkSPORT should be taken with a pinch of whatever you fancy but the nationwide radio station’s been informed that ex-Liverpool goal-getter Roberto Firmino could be on the cusp of an instant return to the Premier League, with Fulham being the favourites to hand him a lifeline. The Brazil international joined Saudi Arabian side Al-Ahli 6 months ago and it’s believed the 32-year-old is nearing the end of his tether.

Firmino, more or less, won the lot under Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool. He also scored 111 times in 362 outings during his time on Merseyside but he just hasn’t acclimatised to life in West Asia. He may have fired a hattrick on his Al-Ahli debut but since then, in 18 appearances, he’s failed to find the back of the net. There’s absolutely no way the grinning hitman’s spent, though, and if we can persuade him to link up with Willian and company, he will elevate out strike force tenfold and I really don’t care if he doesn’t help our average squad age, either. It probably won’t happen but there’s no harm in daydreaming of an attack consisting of Willi, Raul Jimenez and Bobby. Vintage smut, that.

Andre Silva – Red Bull Leipzig

Red Bull Leipzig’s Andre Silva is on loan at La Liga side Real Sociedad, he’s expected to remain at the Basque-based club until the end of the season but he is struggling in Spain and Fulham – according to Football Transfers – are happy to intervene. Silva has only played 128 minutes for Sociedad and he hasn’t scored. The 28-year-old’s previous two seasons at Leipzig were mixed, he isn’t in favour at the Bundesliga contenders and on the surface, I see no reason why he wouldn’t want to contribute to Silva’s set-up, given the chance.

Premier League football, another platform to prove himself and a Portuguese speaking dressing room. What’s not to love? Silva has travelled Europe, he’s played for FC Porto, Milan, Sevilla and Eintracht Frankfurt amongst others and though he’s never really called any of them his long-term home, he’s still an exceedingly good striker on his day but would he really be fully motivated to reach and maintain his best for the Whites? I can’t be sure and that is why we should leave this right here, motionless.

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