Hughes handed £10m to pursue Santa Cruz in transfer window

Fulham's board have told manager Mark Hughes his job is safe and he will be backed in the transfer window next month, despite the club's recent slide down the Premier League table.

Hughes has overseen a run in which Fulham have not managed a win since October, while 10 draws out of their 17 league games has left them hovering above the bottom three only on goal difference.

The Fulham board however accept that Hughes' squad have struggled to cope with the absence of striker Bobby Zamora who suffered a broken leg against Wolverhampton Wanderers in September, coupled with the loss of summer arrival Moussa Dembélé after the forward was ruled out with an ankle injury sustained on international duty with Belgium last month.

As a result the manager will have around £10m to spend next month, and a striker is his priority. Roque Santa Cruz, who has already been signed twice by Hughes, is the main target.

Hughes brought him to Blackburn Rovers from Bayern Munich in 2007 for £3.5m, and then two years later took him to Manchester City for £17.5m.

The 29-year-old Paraguayan has made just one Premier League appearance for City this season, as a second-half substitute against Birmingham last month, and is now surplus to requirements at Eastlands. A fee of around £8m is within Fulham's grasp but Santa Cruz would have to agree to cutting his current wages of £75,000 a week.

If Santa Cruz proves too expensive, Hughes is also looking at the £4m-rated Lacina Traoré, a 20-year-old forward from the Ivory Coast who plays for Romanian champions CFR Cluj and at 6ft 8in is taller than even Tottenham's Peter Crouch. Fulham are also exploring the possibility of signing United States international Landon Donovan on loan from LA Galaxy.

The need for a striker is a pressing one for Fulham, who have scored just 16 times in 17 Premier League games. Last weekend Hughes said: "We are missing a Bobby Zamora type and he will not be back until the end of January or the start of February if everything goes to plan. So if there's someone we can bring in to help us, we will look at it. But more often than not strikers cost a lot of money at Premier League level, so we will have to see."

Fulham's Santa wishlist

Roque Santa Cruz

The Paraguay international has been signed by Mark Hughes at Blackburn Rovers and Manchester City. The out-of-favour striker has made just two appearances for City this season.

Lacina Traoré

The 20-year-old Ivorian from CFR Cluj would come cheaper than Santa Cruz, while at 6ft 8in he would be a constant threat in the air.

Landon Donovan

The 28-year-old forward made an instant impact in his two and a half months at Everton last season and could come to Fulham on loan.

Alex Penny

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before