Fulham grab Gera on free transfer

Fulham have completed the free signing of midfielder Zoltan Gera from West Brom after the Hungarian today passed a medical, the London club have confirmed.

Albion manager Tony Mowbray admitted two days ago that Gera, 29, had turned down a new contract at The Hawthorns and was leaving the newly-promoted Baggies to join Fulham, who dramatically avoided relegation from the Barclays Premier League on the last day of the season.

Gera, who scored 25 goals in 155 games for the midlanders, including 10 strikes last term in their latest promotion campaign, cost them £1.5 million when signed from Hungary's Ferencvaros in July 2004.

He has won 53 caps for his country and has often captained them.

Gera recovered from a hernia operation which kept him out for a long spell in 2005 to emerge as one of the Baggies' most outstanding recent performers and Fulham have jumped in front of at least two other Premier League contenders for his signature.

He is Fulham manager Roy Hodgson's third signing of the season - after goalkeepers Mark Schwarzer on a free from Middlesbrough, and David Stockdale, who joined for a small fee from League Two Darlington.

But that is likely to be only the start of a new spree by Hodgson who has promised a string of new faces before the start of a season in which he intends to establish Fulham as a mid-table side after two years fighting the drop.

Hodgson brought in six new signings during the January transfer window and has pledged to keep much-coveted midfielder Jimmy Bullard at the club.

He has released 10 players including former captain Brian McBride, fellow American defender Carlos Bocanegra, goalkeeper Tony Warner and midfielder Simon Elliott.

Another American, veteran goalkeeper Kasey Keller, has not been offered an extension to his expired one-year contract and is likely to retire.

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