Johnson's move to Fulham close to resolution
Tuesday 29 July 2008
Fulham are confident that Andrew Johnson will join them from Everton – freeing David Moyes to place an increased offer for Sporting Lisbon's Joao Moutinho – despite the distance between the Cottagers and Johnson over his personal terms.
Johnson underwent a medical at Fulham yesterday ahead of a proposed transfer that could ultimately yield Everton £12m for a player who has scored 22 goals in 74 appearances following his move to Goodison Park in May 2006 from Crystal Palace, but who has struggled to build on a successful start on Merseyside. The clubs are agreed on the fee.
It is understood that Fulham will initially lay out £10.5m for Johnson, though the figure could rise considerably dependent on appearances. A deal could conceivably be struck between the clubs today which would leave Moyes to pursue his interest in 21-year-old Portugal international midfielder Moutinho, despite Sporting's seemingly insisting on a £20m deal.
Moyes – whose midfield hitlist, should the pursuit of Moutinho fail, is understood to include Galatasary's Mehmet Topal – will be heartened by the player's declaration in the Portuguese newspaper O Jogo that "Sporting already knows my will, I have already transmitted it to the people. With the reasons that I have, I want to leave Sporting". The Portuguse club are understood to be particular displeased to hear from Moutinho – a versatile player capable of playing wide right and behind the strikers – that he wants to leave for "personal reasons".
Despite the player's assertions, Everton clearly have considerable work to do before securing a deal which would smash their transfer record for the fourth time since January 2005 and deliver a statement of intent to back up their desire to maintain a top five place and go further in the Uefa Cup.
Johnson, who joined Everton for a club-record £8.6m fee little more than two years ago, has also attracted interest from Sunderland and Wigan Athletic, but he and his family are understood to favour a move to London.
Meanwhile, Sweden international Fredrik Stoor looks set to complete his protracted move to Fulham this week. The defender has been linked with the Cottagers for some time, although Wigan are also believed to have expressed an interest. But Roy Hodgson seems to have emerged victorious with his player. The 24-year-old is expected to sign a four-year deal.
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