Fulham youngster Emerson Hyndman has told MLSsoccer.com that he is simply focused on his side's run-in amid reports linking him with a move to the Premier League when his contract expires in the summer.
Hyndman, who turned 20 earlier this month, originally joined Fulham’s academy in 2011 and has made 25 total appearances for the club since making his professional debut in August 2014, scoring one goal in the process.
Widely regarded as one of the USA’s top talents, the American midfielder has already earned his first cap for the senior national team and skippered the Under-20s to the World Cup quarter-finals in New Zealand last summer.
However, after missing most of last season’s run-in with a broken collarbone, the Texas native struggled to break into the Fulham side over the first half of this term and it was not until December that he made his first appearance of the Championship campaign.
At the same time, though, the promising pass master has impressed whenever he has been given an opportunity to play, including in the recent 2-1 home victory over Cardiff City, when he capped off a man-of-the-match performance with a stoppage-time winner to move the Whites 10 points clear of the drop zone.
Fulham boss Slavisa Jokanovic admitted after the match that he regretted not giving the US Under-23 international more first-team chances since arriving at the club in the winter, but whether he will be able to atone for that error next season remains to be seen.
Hyndman’s contract is set to expire at the end of June, and with talks over a new deal yet to get off the ground, he could well be heading elsewhere in the near future.
The former FC Dallas trainee’s obvious potential has not gone unnoticed among Premier League clubs and HITC reported two months ago that the likes of Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United have all been keeping close tabs on his situation.
German giants Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund and Wolfsburg are also eyeing his services, leaving the Championship side with an uphill battle to hold onto him.
Speaking to MLSsoccer.com, Hyndman was not giving much away when pressed on his future but acknowledged that he has a lot of avenues open to him come the end of the season.
"A lot of things can happen," he said. "Honestly, I'm focused right now on Fulham. There's been a couple of changes in the managerial staff and obviously that comes with different ideas.
"We were in a situation as a club, in the relegation zone for a while there. All I can do is perform on a daily basis in training and work as hard as I can."
Hyndman’s vision on the ball has stood out as his main strength since playing his first game for Fulham, having completed a team-leading 89 percent of his 415 passes last season, but he has also worked hard to improve the defensive side of his game over the past two campaigns.
Former Cottagers boss Felix Magath went as far as to compare him to Andrea Pirlo following his first-team debut, while US national team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has also spoken of him in glowing terms in the past.
“Emerson is phenomenal,” the German told the Telegraph in November 2014. “This kid came to our first game after the World Cup, and in our first training session he played like he was always with us.
“He’s barely 18. I said to my coach: ‘Are you seeing what I’m seeing?’ Everyone was like ‘woah’.”
Where Hyndman is playing his football next season ultimately remains to be seen, but while Fulham may not have given up hope of holding onto him, all the signs seem to suggest that the emerging midfielder is set for a new challenge – whether in the Premier League or abroad.