Fulham are in discussions with a Premier League rival after deciding on a striker as a ‘concrete option’ to replace Aleksandar Mitrovic, according to Fabrizio Romano.
Mitrovic was in great form last season, netting 15 goals in 28 matches to help Fulham finish 10th in the Premier League and reach the quarter-finals of the FA Cup. Mitrovic could have surpassed the 20-goal mark if he hadn’t received an eight-game ban in April for pushing referee Chris Kavanagh in the FA Cup defeat to Manchester United.
The centre-forward could soon leave Craven Cottage though. On July 12, it emerged that Al Hilal were hoping to take him to Saudi Arabia. They soon lodged a £25.5million bid, which was knocked back by Fulham.
Two days later, Mitrovic reached an agreement on personal terms with Al Hilal after deciding he wants to make the move. Al Hilal were tipped to submit a second offer for the Serbia hitman, but that has yet to arrive.
As would be expected, Fulham are preparing themselves in case Mitrovic does end up heading to the Middle East. And writing on Twitter, Romano has revealed they are lining up Wolves’ Raul Jimenez as a direct replacement up front.
Jimenez is a ‘concrete option’ for Fulham and they are ‘in talks’ with both Wolves and the player’s entourage to try and reach an agreement on both fronts.
Fulham have seemingly drawn up a list of potential successors to Mitrovic and Jimenez is right at the top of it.
If Al Hilal do end up meeting Fulham’s asking price for Mitrovic, then the Cottagers will go straight to Wolves with a bid for Jimenez. Fulham hope that they will have agreed personal terms with the Mexican before then.
Marco Silva provides double transfer update
Jimenez’s move could also depend on the future of Fulham boss Marco Silva. He has confirmed he has received an offer to manage Al Ahli, which would make him £40m over two years.
Silva discussed the futures of both himself and Mitrovic recently. When asked about potentially managing in Saudi Arabia next term, Silva replied: “I answered for my club. I will not talk about this situation.
“I don’t come here to talk about offers and these situations. If you ask me, I will not lie to you, if I receive an offer, of course, the club knows that, but I will talk nothing more about that.”
He added that he is ‘committed’ to Fulham and that will continue.
Silva’s attention then turned to Mitrovic. “Let’s talk about Mitrovic. It is not the ideal scenario, of course. It is not about the offer, it is about himself,” the coach said.
“He is not going to play [today], he didn’t play last Wednesday and he is not working with his teammates. It is not an ideal scenario.
“As you all know there is interest in our players, like Joao Palhinha, he didn’t come out as well. That’s another situation and not one that concerns me but I would like to have a different scenario about that situation.
“I spoke to Mitro already and he knows my opinion.”
Out of all the strikers in the Prem, Jimenez is one of a select few who would be able to emulate how Mitrovic plays. He is a similar stature and is great at bullying opposition defenders.
The 32-year-old excelled in the 2019-20 season, registering 17 goals in 38 Prem games. He sadly suffered a fractured skull the following campaign and has not been able to get back to his best since then. If Jimenez does swap clubs this summer, then Fulham fans will be hoping he can find his old form and devastate opposition defenders once again.