Fulham will make one more signing – a defensive midfielder – and hope they’ve got the formula right for a tilt at mid-table security or better.
Your favourite local paper has learned boss Roy Hodgson will draw a line under his £23million spending spree when he secures the services of a final squad member – with Torino’s Vincenzo Grella topping the Whites wish list.
Conveniently, it’s the Italian Serie A side that visit Craven Cottage on Saturday, allowing Hodgson to run the rule over his team before the season’s opener against Hull a week later, as well as a final check on Grella’s form.
The Aussie international, more commonly known as Vince to his Socceroo mates, is wanted as the last piece in a Fulham jigsaw, although his club appear to have turned down an opening bid of £3m and are demanding another £1m for the 29-year-old with 35 full caps to his name.
But as Hodgson lines up a newlook Fulham, the old guard are going to find it tough getting into the team.
This time last year, Lee Cook was a £2m buy from QPR and full of optimism, along with six other players under then boss Lawrie Sanchez.
On Monday, the winger made it plain he will draw a line under a ‘wasted year’ and reckons a few others might have to do the same.
He said: “No matter how well I did pre-season, he (Hodgson) had his own players and I knew I wasn’t going to be given a chance.
“It was always going to be difficult for the players signed by Sanchez to get into the team – and I think you’re going to find that this year for the others.
“I’ve come on loan with a view to a permanent deal – and hopefully stay for the next three years at QPR.”
? HAMEUR BOUAZZA is praying he can yet claim a firstteam place at Fulham – or failing that – be allowed to leave.
The £3m winger from Watford admits last season’s DVD highlights won’t find a place on his shelves.
But he revealed he now wants to play ‘week-in, week-out’ somewhere else.
He said: “It’s always difficult when a new manager comes in and brings new staff and his own players – it’s just one of those things.
“Roy has said I am a part of his future plans – but I want to play week in, week out. If it’s not here then it will have to be somewhere else.”