Transfer news: Fulham emerge as leading candidates to sign Everton defender John Heitinga after allowing Aaron Hughes exit

Fulham near a deal after missing out on Leicester defender

Fulham manager Rene Maulensteen is hopeful of completing a deal for Everton centre-back John Heitinga after missing out on Leicester City's Liam Moore.

The Cottagers had hoped to sign the under-21 international but the Championship leaders rejected every approach.

Everton's Dutch defender has been looking to secure a move away from Goodison Park all month.

He firstly turned down a move to West Ham, and had looked set to move abroad with Roma and Galatasaray both showing an interest.

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However it now seems, according to Sky Sports, that Fulham have persuaded him to move to London and the 30-year-old is in talks with the Cottagers and is set to undergo a medical.

Maulensteen needed defensive cover after allowing Aaron Hughes to join Queens Park Rangers.

Heitinga was named Everton's player of the year in 2012 but the form of Sylvain Distin and Phil Jagielka pushed him down the pecking order at Goodison Park.

He also started for the Netherlands as they lost out in the World Cup Final to Spain in 2010.

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