Another transfer deadline looms

Last updated : 30 August 2006 By Harry Shackleton
As another transfer window draws to a close, Fulham fans again find themselves addictively monitoring football sites hoping for news of new signings. These often painful and disappointing few days never seem to match the fans expectations as rumours of dream signings fade into the sunset.

However, maybe Fulham do have a cause to be hopeful in the build-up to Thursday's deadline. It looks certain that Steed Malbranque's protracted transfer battle with the club will finally be concluded today or tomorrow, with Spurs emerging late as the favourites for his signature. This could benefit Fulham, as a potential deal for Wayne Routledge to move in the other direction could be exactly what the club have been searching for. A right-winger will give the team more balance to compliment Luis Boa Morte on the left, and should hopefully provide more threat in the final third.

Despite this, it is a centre back that most fans will be waiting on, as they have for most of the last three seasons. Although Ian Pearce and Phillipe Christanval have looked more assured since the debacle at Old Trafford, it remains the area of the team most in need of improvement.

Links to Sammy Kuffour have excited, but like the rumours of Sol Campbell and Sami Hyypia earlier in the summer have proved, gossip is often far off the mark.

If Fulham manage to bring in two new faces, then the season should be quite exciting for the Cottagers. A centre back will sure up the defence, and a right-winger add some creativity to the midfield. If there is money left over, which is unlikely, then fans would be calling for a new forward, with Preston's David Nugent high on the list.

However, as the deadline looms and nothing seems to be stirring, any new signings will be a welcome relief.