Okaka close to Fulham switch

Stefano Okaka's agent believes the Roma striker could be on his way to Fulham by the end of the week.

Roma are willing to loan out the 20-year-old following the arrival of Italy striker Luca Toni from Bayern Munich.

Fulham manager Roy Hodgson, who confirmed the club's interest at the end of last month, has long been an admirer of Okaka and the Cottagers need for a striker has increased following Bobby Zamora's injury, which is likely to sideline the in-form frontman for several weeks.

Okaka's agent is confident a deal will be completed sooner rather than later and that the Italy under-21 international will do well in the Barclays Premier League.

"Sporting director (Daniele) Prade has not long returned," Domenico Scopelliti told Romagiallorossa.com. "I think that Roma and Fulham will talk in the next two days. It's important that the two clubs talk to each other.

"I think that Stefano is the right age for such a move.

"To play in the Premier League is not just a stroll, it's not something everyone can do.

"Fulham were interested last year as well and that could only make us happy.

"He has the right characteristics to do well in the Premier League.

"Hodgson has said some really good things about Stefano. It's gratifying that a coach of his calibre expressed himself in this way."

Bari and Chievo are also interested in Okaka but Fulham are believed to be leading the chase.

Okaka came through the ranks at Roma and made his debut aged just 16.

The Giallorossi have shipped him out on loan twice, the latest being a six-month loan deal at Brescia last season.

Okaka has impressed since returning to the Stadio Olimpico in the summer and has scored three goals in six Europa League games - including the winner against Fulham in early November.

Following Toni's arrival the youngster is set to find himself on the move again and this time is hopeful of a more long-term solution.

Scopelliti added: "We are looking at the possibility of a longer loan deal.

"Stefano has had two loan deals in Serie B and he would want to find a more stable situation for himself.

"It could be a loan deal of six months plus an option for the following 12.

"In this way he would have the possibility of getting used to everything and settling in."

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