Tottenham 'pulled out at the last moment' over Tom Huddlestone transfer to Fulham

Martin Jol says deal for Spurs midfielder was very close

Martin Jol this afternoon declared himself pleased with Fulham's
deadline-day acquisitions, despite a loan move for Tottenham's Tom
Huddlestone falling through at the last minute.

The Cottagers spent January scouring Europe for reinforcements in a bid to arrest an increasingly concerning slump in form.

Arsenal's Emmanuel Frimpong was Fulham's only first-team addition up until yesterday, when Jol brought in three players on loan.

Urby Emanuelson arrived from AC Milan until the end of the season and was followed to Craven Cottage by PSV Eindhoven right-back Stanislav Manolev and Ajax's Eyong Enoh.

The latter was the last deal of the day and Jol revealed he had hoped to bring Huddlestone from former club Spurs.

"It was a tough month for a lot of clubs, but in the end I feel, although it was not easy, we were quite satisfied," Jol said.

"We had a few targets, a few positions we wanted to strengthen - on the left and defensive midfield - and in the end it came off so I was quite happy.

"My first choice target was probably Fernando Gago from Real Madrid because they wanted to get rid of him, but we couldn't get that sort of quality. But I had a few options and we went for a few players.

"Urby Emanuelson is a player I know well, comes from AC Milan and is no mug so I was quite happy to get him.

"I was talking to a player from my old club Spurs, Tom Huddlestone, but that didn't come off and Enoh was here already because you can't bet on one horse.

"Huddlestone was very close. They pulled out at the last moment so I was very happy Enoh was in the building and there was no damage done."

Enoh and Manolev, who was brought in as cover at right-back following Stephen Kelly's move to Reading, are not available to face Manchester United tomorrow as they wait for their work permits.

However, fellow new boy Emanuelson will be in a Fulham squad that is without several key players.

Steve Sidwell, Kieran Richardson, Kerim Frei and Mahamadou Diarra are all out injured, as is former United striker Dimitar Berbatov.

The Bulgarian will miss up to 10 days after pulling his hamstring in Wednesday's 3-1 London derby victory against West Ham.

Berbatov's absence is a big blow for a Fulham side who last weekend suffered a 4-1 FA Cup defeat to United - a side Jol believes are Premier League champions-elect.

"There are so many things that can change and last year it happened in the last minutes of a game," Jol said. Man City were, of course, lucky because you need a little bit of luck.

"United were almost always number one then and this year is probably the same.

"They are seven points clear so they are the big favourites."

PA

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