Fulham ready to turn down £25m West Ham plan for Tom Cairney - EXCLUSIVE

Friday, January 11th, 2019 11:00am

By James Gray @jamestingray

Fulham are determined to hang onto club captain Tom Cairney despite the reported efforts of West Ham to sign him with a £25million bid.

Cairney signed for Fulham back in 2015 from Blackburn Rovers and quickly became a firm favourite in the Cottagers’ midfield.

Having signed a contract extension in the summer of 2017 he was named club captain, leading Fulham to promotion via the play-offs and scoring the winning goal in the Wembley final, attracting the attention of a number of Premier League clubs.

West Ham reportedly bid £20m for Cairney in the wake of Fulham’s promotion and are understood to be one of a number of clubs expressing an interest in his services again in January.

However, Love Sport understands the club remain determined not to let Cairney go despite the suggestion of an improved £25m bid from the Hammers.

The Scotland international had remained a key cog in Slavisa Jokanovic's side once he regained match fitness while Ranieri has occasionally found himself benching the skipper for tactical reasons.

"Of course, it's frustrating as every is desperate to play, but the gaffer tried something a bit different tactically," Cairney said after starting the Wolves clash in December as a substitute.

"He wanted us to get in behind against their back three and try and exploit the spaces their wing-backs left.

"It worked in the first half, but in the second half we tired, and they started to dominate."

Fulham are expected to be busy in the January transfer window in an effort to rectify their dire situation in the Premier League.

Claudio Ranieri’s side are still four points from safety and the Italian is looking to raid his old club Chelsea to improve the starting XI.

Gary Cahill is thought to be closest to signing a loan deal at Craven Cottage but he and team-mates Danny Drinkwater and Victor Moses were all recently shown around the training ground in an effort to convince them to make a switch.

But none of those deals are yet over the line and are extremely unlikely to be in place for Saturday’s relegation six-pointer against Burnley at Turf Moor.

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