Fulham appear to have ruled themselves out of the race to sign Jack Butland with reports they are going after a top ‘keeper from Serie A.
Fulham seem to have switched their focus on signing Maarten Stekelenburg from Serie A side Roma.
The West London team had been heavily linked with a move for Birmingham’s Jack Butland but an impending bidding war seems to have forced Martin Jol to look elsewhere.
Roma have apparently told their goalkeeper that he can leave the club just a year and a half after signing from Ajax. Initial reports are suggesting that Fulham will put in a bid of around £3 million to test the water.
This is half of what Birmingham are setting as their basic valuation for Butland, which is expected to be pushed up to £10 million once a bidding war between Premier League sides begins.
Fulham are actively on the hunt for a new number one who will eventually replace Mark Schwarzer when the veteran Australian calls a day on his playing career.
There are many reasons why Stekelenburg should be that man because he has valuable experience of playing football at the highest level with a long career at Ajax and with the Netherlands.
He made 29 appearances during his first season with Roma and made 81 saves in the process but he has been muted in his second season with the club having made only nine appearances so far in this Serie A campaign.
He has the physical size and presence of a goalkeeper who could dominate in the Premier League. This is very important for any new goalkeeper coming into English football where goalkeepers are often roughed up a lot more by the opposition.
He’s just turned 30-years-old which may seem a little counter productive for the club in terms of replacing one old goalkeeper with another approaching the end of his career.
However, Edwin van der Sar is the perfect example as he was of a similar age before he joined Manchester United where he arguably had the best spell of his entire career as a professional ‘keeper.
Stekelenburg also shows evidence of being loyal to his club with Ajax and Roma the only two club sides that he’s played for so far in his career. This should convince Fulham to go higher than the £ million mark if they are asked to do so.
Would this be a good signing for Fulham? Let us know your thoughts.
image: © Damien Cansse