Bryan Ruiz reveals Fulham have forced through one-year contract extension

Fulham Turnstiles

The Costa Rican international had hoped to leave Craven Cottage this summer.

The fact that 29-year-old attacking midfielder Bryan Ruiz wants to leave Fulham, is no secret, but the club are clearly unwilling to make his eventual departure easy.

In an interview with Costa Rican newspaper, La Nación, Ruiz revealed that Fulham have activated a one-year extension clause on his contract, which was set to expire this summer, thus preventing him from leaving for free.

He explained: "Today they've informed me of the contract renewal. So, now I'll have to wait again, because I now have another year contracted with them. I don't believe it's with the intention of keeping me there. Quite the opposite. It's to see if they can benefit financially, which is understandable."

Asked if that means the departure he'd hoped for this summer, is now going to prove problematic, Ruiz acknowledged: "It's looking difficult, although Fulham don't get the sort of money they got before, in the Premier League."

Ruiz also indicated that if Fulham are keen to play things the hard way, then so is he, pointing out: "I'll be free to talk to other clubs in five months and negotiate as a free agent. Speaking with my agent, we've come to the conclusion that we shouldn't be desperate. In the end, if I stay five months and then talk business with other clubs, it's easier for me."

Back in February, also speaking with La Nación, Ruiz underlined his displeasure at remaining with Fulham, following their relegation from the Premier League.

That turned to anger when a loan move to La Liga outfit Levante collapsed, with their president, Quique Catalan, blaming Fulham for not sending paperwork through for FIFA international clearance, before the transfer deadline.

Levante haven't forgotten about him though, with local media outlet Levante-EMV, suggesting they would have been interested in making a move this summer, if Ruiz was available on a free transfer.

In Portugal, sports outlet O Jogo report that Sporting Lisbon made firm enquiries, but have now backed away, after they were given what they consider an "unthinkable" asking price of €6 million. This response by Fulham, coming since the London club informed Ruiz of his one-year extension.

Ruiz now accepts with resignation: "Fulham own my contract, so I'll have to stay put for now, but it's not what I want."

If indeed Fulham are demanding €6 million for the player, it would seem highly unlikely they'll get their asking price. Meanwhile, as his interview comments clearly indicate, Ruiz is prepared to play the waiting game until January 2016.

From that point, he'll be free to hold negotiations with any interested clubs, then depart for free the following summer. In the meantime, The Cottagers would be stuck with a player who really doesn't want to play for them, then lose him for absolutely nothing.

Whether Fulham will be willing to budge on their valuation, remains to be seen, but that's clearly what the player is hoping for. At present though, it would have to drop significantly, to rekindle interest from clubs such as Sporting Lisbon.

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