Fulham join the race to sign Kezman

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The Independent Football

Chris Coleman, the Fulham manager, hopes to make the PSV Eindhoven striker Mateja Kezman his next major signing if he can agree a fee with the Dutch club.

Coleman and his assistant, Steve Kean, watched the Serbian international score against Newcastle United from the penalty spot in PSV's Uefa Cup quarter-final defeat on Wednesday, and he plans to bid for the 24 year old this summer.

Fulham have money to spend following the sale of Louis Saha to Manchester United, but are waiting for a sensible valuation on the striker. Reports from the Netherlands claim that Birmingham City have already offered £5m, but that is unlikely as Kezman only has a year left on his contract. Fulham might pay closer to £3m for Kezman, who would be interested in a move to the Premiership after a four-year spell in Eindhoven.

Coleman yesterday revealed he is "very close" to agreeing a new long-term deal with the club. The manager was rewarded with a one-year rolling contract last summer for successfully steering the Cottagers to Premiership safety after Jean Tigana had departed with five games remaining.

Although a rookie in managerial terms - Coleman is the youngest manager in the Premiership - the decision has paid off for the chairman, Mohamed Al Fayed, who has seen Fulham's fortunes flourish under the Welshman's guidance.

Coleman is keen to commit his future to the club, but insists the new deal must allow him to continue working alongside Kean. "Myself and Steve Kean are very close to agreeing terms," he said. "Steve and I are a partnership, so we both have to be happy with what is agreed. There have been plenty of discussions over the last seven days. We're not far off now from reaching a conclusion. I would be delighted to commit for the long term."

Should Fulham not reach the Uefa Cup through their League position they may qualify through Uefa's fair play placing. Fulham, Tottenham Hotspur and Charlton Athletic are the favourites to qualify should England finish top of Uefa's Fair Play League at the end of the season. At the half-way stage England (8.240) were a fraction behind the leaders, Sweden (8.287).