Hopefully this will be the last time it's brought up here (at least until January loan rumors start), but Craven Cottage Newsround had one of the best pieces on Clint Dempsey's return to MLS. As I've said before, being a Sounders fan and a Fulham supporter puts me in a weird state of mind. Reading that article put me in a better place about the entire thing.
Now that the signing of Adel Taarabt is officially official, it only makes sense for Fulham to be linked to the rest of the QPR midfield. Scratch that, it actually doesn't make any sense, but it's happening anyway. First up is Esteban Granero. I guess he could make some sense, in the fact that he's a creative central midfielder. He valued at over £5M though, and that seems quite overpriced. Fulham also have been linked to Ali Faurlin. Tony Fernandes took to twitter quickly to deny the player was for sale; but that doesn't rule out a loan deal.
Sticking with QPR midfielders, Squawka has a great piece on Adel Taarabt. It comes to the same conclusion that I've made. It's a low risk move, that will require Jol to use all of his managerial skills. However, they use pretty graphs and charts to illustrate their points and I'm a sucker for graphs. Steve Sidwell also had a chance to give his opinion on the Tarrabt move. Sidwell seems convinced that the squad will be able to keep Taarabt in line, and if he won't do the work, they will have no problem getting rid of him.
In case you wanted more charts, graphs, and heat maps; Football Stats and Tactics published a great piece on Alex Kacaniklic. I truly believe if he stays healthy and gets enough playing time, he could have a breakout campaign.
It also looks like some rumors are finally dying. Bakary Sako seems poised now to move to Nottingham Forest. The most interesting fact is that it appears that they will get less for him than Fulham originally offered. I think this may help future negotiations with clubs, as they see that Fulham aren't going to wildly up their bids for players that aren't in high demand. The Tom Huddelstone move also seems to be dead, as Cartilage Free Captain is reporting a move to Cardiff now seems the most likely. Finally, the Bernard Malanda-Aje deal seems to be at impasse. He doesn't appear to be happy with the offer he's received from Fulham. I'm not sure whether it is playing time or money that he's unhappy with, but I hope it works; if only because I love Belgians.
We should know by tomorrow whether the Darren Bent deal is done. Jol rarely talks about business until it is done, so just the fact that he is bringing this up leads me to believe that this is happening. Also in the rumor mill, is the transfer I most want to happen. Clement Chantome is being linked with the club again. It seems Fulham are in competition with Everton and West Brom for his service. I can see how the player would be considered surplus at big spending PSG. I can only see Everton making a real bid if Fellaini gets sold. I would hope that Fulham would be more attractive than West Brom, but we'll have to wait and see.
It's not all new players coming in however. Fulham could be losing Dino Islamovic. The fact that a club in the Eredevise want him, only makes me think Fulham would be wise to hold onto him. I'd prefer to extend his contract for another year and then possibly loan him to PEC Zwolle. But selling young players out of the academy is something Fulham is going to have to do to raise funds to be sustainable. Which brings us to Kerim Frei. Once again it's reported that he's close to joining Galatasary. The only part of the story that I have a hard time believing is the £2M fee. Unless there are possible add ons, or Fulham keep a chunk of a future sell on fee; that value seems very low to me.
As we near ever closer to the start of the season, previews are starting to go up around the internet. Here is one, and here is another, and here is one that is slightly more optimistic. We should have our season preview done here soon. Depending on how signings go this week, I could fall anywhere on the very optimistic to the sky is falling scale.
Former club great Louis Saha also announced his retirement today. I wasn't following the club when he was here, but he scored a ton of goals in his time at Fulham. And I'm always a little sad when a player has to give up playing.
Finally, the draw for the Capital One Cup was done and Fulham have drawn Burton Albion. Hopefully it will go much better than last years debacle at Sheffield Wednesday. I'd like to see Fulham get a couple of Cup games in to give the youngsters some playing time.