Fulham January Transfer Rumors: 3 Players Fans Would Love to See at the Cottage

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistJanuary 6, 2013

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 17: Jack Butland of Birmingham in action during the npower Championship match between Birmingham City and Hull City at St. Andrews on November 17, 2012 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by Ben Hoskins/Getty Images)
Ben Hoskins/Getty Images

2012 was a disappointing year for Fulham. The team lost Clint Dempsey and Moussa Dembele over the summer, and despite a decent start to the Premier League season, is now just six points clear of the relegation zone.

And while there won't be a ton of money available to the team to make improvements, there is no question that improvements need to be brought in. Fulham will be bargain hunting, there's no doubt about that. But if the team plays its cards right it could still solidify itself for the second half of the season.

It looks like the team has already made some solid moves to improve the midfield—a necessity, no doubt about that—signing Chris David and looking close to landing Derek Boateng

So with Fulham busy already this window, who else should fans realistically look for the team to land?


Jack Butland, Goalkeeper

The 19-year-old keeper is highly regarded and may take over for Joe Hart as the English starter on the international level in the near future. For Fulham, this would be an excellent addition, no two ways about that.

It's also a practical one. Mark Schwarzer is on the last year of his deal and likely won't be back if this deal goes down, meaning Butland could step in immediately and take over as Fulham's top option. 

John Percy of The Telegraph has more:

Fulham are the latest Premier League club to register their interest in Butland and have made a firm enquiry for the 19 year-old this week.

Southampton have also been in informal discussions with Birmingham over the past few days and are expected to make another attempt to sign Butland, after their £6m bid was rejected in the summer.

As Percy notes, Manchester United, Everton and Liverpool have also shown interest in Butland, so Fulham might have to make a very nice offer to bring him in. Still, it would be a coup for the team, and Butland should certainly be on the team's shortlist.


Vegard Forren, Centre-Back

With the possibility—however improbable— that captain Brede Hangeland could leave the club in January, the team will need a replacement for the reliable centre-back. Enter Vegard Forren?

It certainly seems a possibility, according to Simon Jones of the Daily Mail:

Fulham have launched a bid for Molde defender Vegard Forren.

The Norway international was due to join up with the national squad for their training camp but was pulled out after his club received a £4million bid.

Fulham better open up the purse strings, however—Everton has made a serious push to land the defender, according to Andy James of the Daily Mail:

Everton are believed to have had a £4million bid for Norway defender Vegard Forren accepted by his club Molde.

Fulham reportedly made an offer for the 24-year-old on Thursday and Molde boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer confirmed Forren was set to leave the club.

But, according to The Sun, Everton have now rivalled Fulham's bid and are in pole position to wrap up Forren's signature this week.

I'm always of the belief that you can never have enough solid defenders on your team, and Forren is a promising player. While it looks like Everton may snatch him from under Fulham's noses, the team shouldn't give up on landing the talented centre-back just yet.


Will Hughes, Midfielder

Hughes may be the toughest target for Fulham to land, as Manchester City are thought to be hot on the heels of the 17-year-old. From Alan Nixon of the Mirror:

Manchester City are making a late and strong bid to sign Derby County wonder boy Will Hughes—and throw him into the title race, writes the Sunday People.

City chief Roberto Mancini wants to add to his squad and his No. 2 David Platt has launched a raid on the Rams for their 17-year-old midfield sensation.

Hughes is already wanted by Arsenal, Tottenham and Fulham who are all sniffing around as Derby wait for a potential £10 million bid.

But megabucks City have come in and asked Derby to name their price for Hughes and are keen to land him now.

One advantage Fulham may have in that grouping of suitors is the potential to offer Hughes more immediate playing time. It's hard to imagine him seeing the field often given the depth the other sides in his bidding already possess. 

Of course, the other clubs may simply price Fulham out of the running. Keep an eye on this one—Hughes would be an amazing get for the team.