Fulham bid for Ferdinand

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The Independent Online

Fulham are making a £1.5m offer for Les Ferdinand. The Tottenham striker cannot win a regular place in manager George Graham's side and his contract is in its final year at White Hart Lane, writes Alan Nixon.

Fulham are making a £1.5m offer for Les Ferdinand. The Tottenham striker cannot win a regular place in manager George Graham's side and his contract is in its final year at White Hart Lane, writes Alan Nixon.

Graham will be reluctant to lose him without bringing in a replacement and is keen on Watford's England Under-21 player Tommy Smith, but he would cost much more than Spurs could get for Ferdinand.

Both Rangers and Manchester City have already made reported moves for Ferdinand this season, but without any success.

The Fulham coach, Jean Tigana, feels he is one striker short of a promotion-winning side. The Frenchman would not be drawn on the subject of Ferdinand as he received his Nationwide League First Division manager of the month award yesterday, but he did remark on the physical nature of the English game, an element Ferdinand (when fit) is well equipped to deal with.

"There is a lot more physical contact here than in France and I do not think it helps the football," said Tigana, who formerly managed Monaco and has yet to sign an English player since taking over the reins at Craven Cottage.

"In France referees give players far greater protection, if you go in with your elbow you are sent off. The referees in England are far more tolerant of physical play, but the problem is that it stops the flow of the game and spoils entertaining football.

"If a player knows he is going to get clattered he is not going to produce the same type of skills that he would if he were being protected by the referee. That is why players from overseas find it difficult when they first arrive because they have grown up in a different system, they are not used to the intensity."

The other Nationwide League managers of the month were Ray Graydon (Walsall, Second Division) and Nicky Law (Chesterfield, Third Division).

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