Coleman to remain resolute on Boa Morte asking price

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The Independent Online

The Fulham manager, Chris Coleman, insists there have been no serious offers for Luis Boa Morte, but is ready to sell his club captain for the right price.

Boa Morte, 29, has been linked with a move to Tottenham who are looking for a left-sided midfielder, but Coleman has yet to be approached by Martin Jol's side for the Portuguese player. He is ready to do business if Tottenham table a substantial bid but claims that the fee would have to be far higher than the £5m figure he has seen quoted.

"The message to Spurs or anybody else interested in our captain is if they're seriously interested they have to make a serious offer," he said. "A serious offer for Luis Boa Morte isn't £5m. We haven't had an offer that's anywhere near what his price is. If they are interested in him they'll have to pay. Bear in mind Gary McSheffrey went from Coventry to Birmingham for £4m.

"He's a good player in the Championship but has no Premiership experience. Compare him with Boa Morte - a lad who has played over 250 games in the Premiership over the last five years and is a Portuguese international.

"The price would have to be big to lose a player of Boa's class. If someone offered a staggering amount of money for Boa then I'd have to ask the chairman how much can I have back to invest in other players.

"From a football side I wouldn't want to sell him at any price. But I have to tell the chairman what has been offered. We could maybe invest in two or three new players with the money. But it would have to be a lot of money to sell Boa."

Boa Morte signed a new contract last summer which keeps him at Fulham until 2008, putting the club in a strong negotiating position.

The same can not be said for Steed Malbranque, however, who may leave in a cut-price deal as Coleman seeks to raise cash for new signings. West Ham have reportedly made a renewed bid to land Malbranque with a £2.5m approach, but Coleman insists there are no new developments over the unsettled French playmaker.

Meanwhile, the Football Association have charged Fulham for the crowd disturbances following the 1-0 victory over Chelsea at Craven Cottage on 19 March. The club have until 5 September to respond.

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