The proposed transfer of Neco Williams to Fulham has hit a snag after the Cottagers began targeting Kevin Mbabu of Wolfsburg, according to a report.
Williams spent the second half of last season on loan at Fulham from Liverpool. He made 15 appearances, chipping in with two goals and two assists, as Fulham returned to the Premier League by winning the Championship title.
The right-back has been linked with a permanent transfer to Craven Cottage. This is mainly because he has little chance of replacing Trent Alexander-Arnold in Jurgen Klopp’s starting eleven.
Plus, the Reds recently brought in teenage defender Calvin Ramsay from Aberdeen. This means they can let Williams, 21, go as part of a permanent deal this summer.
But Liverpool’s hopes of improving their finances with the sale of the full-back have been handed a blow.
According to the Daily Mail, Fulham are now pursuing Wolfsburg player Mbabu. And they have already held talks with the German side over his availability.
Wolfsburg are open to a sale due to a couple of reasons. Firstly, the right-back’s contract expires next summer. That means the current transfer window is their best opportunity to get a decent fee.
In addition, Mbabu played poorly towards the end of the last campaign. As a result, Wolfsburg feel they can get a better option in to replace him.
Difference in Neco Williams, Kevin Mbabu price tags
While Liverpool want £15m for Williams, Mbabu would only cost Fulham £8m. So it’s clear to see why they are exploring this possibility.
The Switzerland international already has a small amount of experience playing in England. He made five appearances for Newcastle during a spell there between January 2013 and summer 2017. Admittedly, he had a couple of loan moves during this period.
Fulham will hope the 27-year-old can make more of an impact this time around, as well as get over his poor form towards the end of last season.
However, Mbabu isn’t the only right-back they are looking at. Marco Silva’s team are also interested in Djibril Sidibe. The former Everton man would be the cheapest of the three options.
That’s because he will become a free agent once his Monaco contract expires at the end of the month.
Fulham clearly have a few targets in mind as they look to bolster the right side of defence. While a deal for Williams looked like the best option previously, they now seem to be hoping to save money.
This would keep back transfer funds for their other pursuits. They like Joao Palhinha of Sporting Lisbon and are aiming to land him in a £17m deal.
However, the transfer is currently being delayed by discussions between agents.