Slavisa Jokanovic has confirmed Fulham turned down a £20million bid from Newcastle for midfielder Tom Cairney.
The 26-year-old enjoyed a fine season for the Cottagers as they made the play-offs before losing to Reading on penalties in the semi-final.
The Scotland international was linked with a move to St James' Park in January with Aston Villa also understood to be interested.
But boss Jokanovic, while confirming an offer was rejected, says Cairney should stay at Craven Cottage.
“He [Rafa Benitez] asked for him and they offered £20m, but we didn’t let him go,” he said. “He’s not for Newcastle, there is no business there. He fits in at Fulham.
“When the team has problems, the ball always goes to him and he keeps it.”
The player himself is keen to test himself at the highest level but would like to do so with Fulham.
“Every player has to back themselves to play at that level and I believe once I get there — and I hope it’s with Fulham — I really will show I can do things at that level,” he said earlier this season.
“It’s all about getting there in the first place, but I do think it does suit my game.”
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