Bullard signs for Fulham in four-year £2.5m deal

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The Independent Online

Fulham will sign midfielder Jimmy Bullard when the season ends after agreeing a £2.5m fee with Wigan Athletic yesterday. The 27-year-old Londoner will join Fulham on a four-year deal on 8 May, after the final match of the campaign.

Bullard - who joined Wigan for £275,000 in 2003 - travelled to London yesterday to discuss terms and undergo a medical.

Fulham's bid was enough to trigger an escape clause in Bullard's contract, a situation reminiscent of Nathan Ellington's departure to West Bromwich Albion last summer when the Baggies were informed of a £3m clause in the striker's contract.

"His agent alerted clubs that Jimmy has a clause in his contract that allows him to leave for a certain price," said Jewell. "We have to, by law, tell Jimmy if a club comes in for him, and he wanted to speak to Fulham.

"If a player decides to leave, it is best if he does. I have always said there's no point in keeping unhappy players, or at least players who want to move. The timing is not the best but I understand that Fulham wanted to move quickly and not lose their man."

Having anticipated protracted talks between the clubs on how Fulham would pay the transfer fee, Jewell did not expect the deal to go through so quickly.

However, while he was disappointed to see Bullard go, he is adamant that his departure does not signal the break-up of his current squad.

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