Fulham in discussions over summer transfer budget as futures of key players decided

Fulham in discussions over summer transfer budget as futures of key players decided

Fulham chiefs held a meeting on Wednesday to discuss their summer transfer budget, which manager Marco Silva hopes will be finalised in the next fortnight.

The club spent £58.9million last summer, bringing in the likes of Alex Iwobi from Everton and his Nigeria team-mate Calvin Bassey, who was at Ajax.

The sale of Aleksandar Mitrovic to Saudi Pro League side Al-Hilal was worth £45m and offset most of that expenditure.

Silva is known to prefer permanent signings and is not a fan of loan transfers as he finds planning for the future difficult when factoring in players who may not be at the club for the long-term. The size of Fulham’s summer transfer budget is currently being considered by the club’s recruitment team.

“We have been talking”, said Silva. “In December and the beginning of January, we began to speak together.

“We had a meeting on Wednesday. I would expect everything to be more clear next week or the week after the Premier League [season ends]. It’s going to be important to put on the table the plan that we have.”

Meanwhile, there are a number of players whose futures at Fulham are in doubt.

Willian has scheduled a meeting at the end of the season with Silva to discuss his Fulham future, just as he did last summer.

The 35-year-old left Brazilian club Corinthians in 2022 to sign for Fulham on a one-year deal.

He and club agreed to a one-year contract extension in July, but two weeks later he went behind the club’s back to agree personal terms with Saudi Pro League side Al-Shabab. The move never materialised, though, and he has remained at Fulham this season.

“At the end of the season — like I did with him last season — we are going to analyse the season and see together”, said Silva.

“It’s what he would like to do. Of course, we respect that. Me, myself [and] Fulham would like him to have another season with us.”

Fulham want to keep Willian for another season (PA)
Fulham want to keep Willian for another season (PA)

The club retain an option to extend Kenny Tete’s contract by a year. He has also been offered a new contract entirely, but the full-back’s future is still uncertain.

Silva said: “There are three [possible] solutions for him. We have been talking with him. Some moments the conversations were more hot — at moments close, at moments not so close.

“We have an option in the contract that we can trigger. [Between] us and Kenny, we are going to come to a decision.”

Fode Ballo-Toure has made just seven appearances in all competitions since his summer deadline-day loan move from AC Milan.

Silva said of the left-back’s future: “No decision; we haven’t decided yet. Of course, he’s an AC Milan player. First we have to talk with him. Then it’s between us and the club if we go in that direction [of trying to sign him permanently].

“He’s been a good example of how you can be important even if you don’t have a lot of minutes.”