Fulham still hope to add significantly to their numbers before the closure of the transfer window on Friday as Martin Jol seeks to counteract the disruption caused by Moussa Dembélé's departure for Tottenham Hotspur.
Dembélé joined Spurs on Wednesday for £15m and has signed a five-year deal with the club. "We are delighted to announce that we have reached agreement with Fulham for the transfer of Moussa Dembélé," said Tottenham's official website. "The Belgium international has won many admirers with his performances in the Premier League since arriving at Craven Cottage in August 2010 from AZ Alkmaar, with whom he won the Eredivisie league title in 2009.
"Dembélé originally joined Fulham as a forward, although his ability to drive forward with the ball and his eye for a pass saw him played in an attacking midfield role last season, a move that proved a huge success. In total, he made 74 appearances for the Cottagers, scoring seven times."
Fulham are expected to react to the departure of Dembélé by signing the Sunderland midfielder Kieran Richardson for £2m – the 27-year-old should make his debut in Saturday's derby against West Ham – with firm interest also lodged with Lyon for their France striker Bafétimbi Gomis. The forward is three years into a five-year contract at Stade Gerland and, having previously rejected the chance to move to Rubin Kazan, had been the subject of an enquiry from Milan earlier this month. Yet the chance of a move to the Premier League could yet entice him to London with Lyon, who have failed to qualify for the Champions League, open to a sale.
Jol, who had previously considered a move for Genk's Christian Benteke, has also enquired with West Ham over the potential availability of their midfielder Mark Noble, who has entered the final year of his contract at Upton Park and has yet to agree terms on an extension. There is interest, too, in the much-coveted Blackpool winger Matt Phillips, a target for Southampton already this summer, while Wolfsburg's Iranian-German midfielder, Ashkan Dejagah, has also been heavily scouted.
It remains to be seen whether either Sunderland or Liverpool revive their interest in Clint Dempsey, who has been cast to the fringes by the Cottagers having indicated he no longer wanted to play for the club. No firm bids have as yet been forthcoming for the United States international, yet the possibility remains that he could follow Dembélé out of Craven Cottage before Friday's cut-off.
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image: © Tom Cuppens