Relegation-threatened Fulham are checking down the back of the couch for a few coppers as they try to persuade 18-year-old Swede Muamer Tankovic to sign on long-term at Craven Cottage, amid interest in the youngster from top Premier League clubs.
Tankovic arrived in west London from Allsvenskan side IFK Norrkoping in 2011 and has stood out in a strong Cottagers Under-18 side.
Manager Rene Meulensteen – who was Manchester United’s youth team coach for five years during the last decade – has such confidence in the attacking-midfielder that he gave Tankovic his first-team debut in the 3-0 FA Cup third-round replay win against Norwich.
The Hageby native replaced fellow countryman Alex Kacaniklic for the last few minutes against the Canaries and sources inside the club believe Meulensteen will turn to Tankovic during the run-in, as his side look to defy relegation odds of 10/11.
However, the player’s contract runs out during the summer and rumours linking Arsenal and Tottenham with a January move has led his representative Fabio Alho to stir the pot somewhat regarding his client’s future.
While Alho insists that he is in negotiations with Fulham regarding a new contract, he refused to deny speculation that other clubs have been in contact to enquire about Tankovic.
As well as the aforementioned north London clubs, Liverpool have been credited with an interest in recent days and Tankovic may see a favourable route to the first team at Anfield.
Aside from Philippe Coutinho, the Reds’ options in the number 10 role the Swedish youth tends to operate in are scarce.
Luis Suarez can play in the role behind a main striker, but as he showed during Daniel Sturridge’s recent absence – when he scored 11 times in seven Premier League games – the Uruguayan’s best position is further forward.
Should Liverpool sign Tankovic they may only be keeping him warm ahead of a future move to the Bernabeu, as the player has stated in the past that he wants ‘to play for Real Madrid and win the Ballon d’Or’, but the Merseysiders are hopeful of striking a deal for one of the hottest properties in British football nonetheless.
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