Transfer news: Fulham fail in £4m bid to sign Porto midfielder Steven Defour

The west Londoners were close to agreeing a three-and-a-half year deal

Steven Defour in action for Belgium last November
Steven Defour in action for Belgium last November

Fulham’s bid to sign Steven Defour has ended in failure after Porto decided they will not allow the Belgium midfielder to leave.

Defour, 25, held talks with Fulham’s chief executive Alastair Mackintosh last week and was ready to sign a three-and-half-year deal to move to west London for around £4million. But after the Portuguese champions confirmed the sale of club captain Lucho Gonzalez to Qatar Sports Club on Saturday, Defour’s agent revealed that his client will not be leaving.

“Steven has to stay at Porto. They sold Lucho Gonzalez and decided that Steven can take his place,” said Paul Stefani.

“We had to wait some days because to find out what Porto wanted to do and he had a meeting on Saturday night where they informed him of the decision. He is happy to stay but he was also happy go to Fulham. He had some good talks with them and it was a fantastic option but he has two years left on his contract in Portugal. Fulham made a very good impression and maybe we will see what happens in the future.”

German side Schalke were also interested in taking Defour, who has struggled to hold down a regular place since joining Porto from Standard Liege in 2011. But Defour, who tweeted a good luck message to Argentina international Gonzalez on Sunday, is now expected to play more of a part under coach Paulo Fonseca.

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