The bad news is that I busted my knee up fairly bad and had to get surgery. So, I'm depressingly stuck on a couch for the next few days. The good news is that it means I'm able to follow today's transfer deadline day news and provide relatively quick updates on what happens over the course of the day.
I'm going to try to stick to relatively hard news (lodged a bid, agreed to a fee, discussing terms, medical, finalized transfer, etc.) in lieu of any type of "has shown interest in" types of updates. Considering I've already violated this, I'm going to update with whatever seems relevant and has some legs, but try to stick to harder news.
Here's where we are:
I'm calling it quits on a day that could be best described as tenuous for Fulham. Ruiz seemed an assured signing last night, and then Newcastle entered the picture. In the end, Martin Jol got his man and Ruiz is now an expensive, highly regarded Cottager. Ruiz will be under some pressure to deliver results quickly, and ideally he does, but patience will be the key as the lanky, skilled attacker adapts to the speed and physicality of the Premiership.
Alan Hutton completed his move to Aston Villa, ending a brief flirtation from Fulham.
Zdenek Grygera signed for a year with an option, a very solid sign offering the club versatility on the backline.
Andre-Pierre Gignac's move appears to be off, with Marseille unable to land a forward to replace him. This is not confirmed, but as nothing has yet been announced, I feel confident that this will be the final case.
At the last moment, Fulham signed Orlando Sa from Porto on a three-year deal. The 23-year-old Portugese international played 16 league games last season and scored three goals at Portugese side Nacional on loan.
Important as well is the fact that Clint Dempsey, Chris Baird and Andy Johnson remain Fulham players. A squad that was thinned over the summer is now strengthened. A solid day in the market for Whites today, strengthening their depth both up front and at the rear while adding a dynamic talent in Ruiz.
Via Bryan Ruiz's official Twitter account @bryanruizcr, the Costa Rican international has signed for Fulham. Sky Sports is reporting the same, citing FC Twente's president. Contract details have not yet been released.
All that seems to remain is confirmation, one way or the other, on the Gignac move. Contradictory reports have been aflutter for the last hour or so.
News from earlier today can be found after the jump....
Hour left until d-day. here's where we're at:
* Fulham remain front runners for Bryan Ruiz though Newcastle is still very much in the running. The situation with Andre-Pierre Gignac may be the exact same
* Villa seem to have beaten Fulham for Alan Hutton, another move that has yet to be confirmed as well, though Hutton is apparently undergoing a medical at this time.
* A rumor propped up on Sky Sports that Fulham had a bid for young Liverpool striker Nathan Ecclestone accepted, but Liverpool have refuted that.
*Zdenek Grygera's move to Fulham is the only one that's been confirmed thus far today.
More to come, assuredly, though I imagine things are a fair bit more exciting and less tenuous on Arsenal blogs.
Three hours until the window closes and it's all quiet on the western front. For now at least.
Bryan Ruiz's move is now apparently up in the air after speculation has Newcastle making a late push for the winger. Alan Hutton's move is in a similar situation, with initial reports saying he was on his way to Aston Villa. Newer reports now say he may have spurned Villa for Fulham. Nothing firm, but that should be changing within the next couple hours. Andre-Pierre Gignac's move to Fulham, supposedly a loan, seems to be safe, but like anything on deadline day, until it's confirmed it could all change very quickly.
No linking on this one, but Sky Sports' Gary Cotterill is reporting that Fulham have lodged a £4 million bid for Tottenham Hotspur's Scottish right back Alan Hutton. Hutton was granted leave from Scottish national team camp earlier today to finalize some sort of move and a bid for Hutton would make sense as Jol seems unconvinced by Chris Baird and Aaron Hughes at right back.
* Fulham have confirmed the signing of Grygera on a one year deal with an option for a second year. A very solid, cheap depth signing.
* Fulham have agreed to a £10.6 million fee with FC Twente for Costa Rican winger Bryan Ruiz. This is serious money, but Ruiz is a seriously talented player. The recently turned 26-year-old Ruiz generally plays as an out-and-out winger with an eye for goal, impressive dribbling skills, and size atypical for a winger. With
despite his size and his rate of scoring in the Eredivise (39 goals in 61 games), he would probably also not act as a depth option up top.
All that seems to stand in the way of this move finalizing is personal terms with the player himself.
* Fulham seem to be front runners in the battle to sign French international Andre-Pierre Gignac away from Olympique Marseille. The 25-year-old forward has 16 caps with the French national team to his name and would obviously provide a boost in class for Fulham's attack. I only mention this because Gignac has come up in rumors relating to Fulham before and Marseille's chairman has confirmed that he is currently out of the country finalizing a move, though he won't say to where.
* Former Juventus defender Zdnek Grygera's move to Fulham could be finalized as well today. The 31-year-old Czech defender can play anywhere along the backline and Twitter reports yesterday seemed to indicate he had already given his goodbyes to teammates as the club had mutually agreed to terminate his contract so he could seek a move away from Turin, meaning if he signs with Fulham, it will be on a free.
* Keanu March-Brown has been sent on loan to Dundee United, joining teammate Lauri Dalla Valle at the Scottish Premier League club. The 19-year-old outside back spent much of last year with MK Dons in the Coca Cola League One.