Fulham are set to target one of Chelsea's loan army if they don't sign Josh Maja on a permanent deal
Fulham are battling former Craven Cottage boss Claudio Ranieri to sign £5 million-rated Chelsea striker Ike Ugbo during the summer transfer window, as reported by Goal.
The 22-year-old has scored 29 goals in the last two seasons out on loan, with 15 of those coming during a spell at Cercle Brugge in Belgium this year, and the other 13 last season at Dutch outfit Roda JC.
When you consider that Cercle Brugge are 16th in an 18 team league this season, it’s testament to Ugbo’s talent that he’s managed to score plenty of goals and enhance his reputation as a prospect.
The Belgian side do have a £5m option to buy the striker permanently, but could be tempted to use the interest from Fulham and Sampdoria to make themselves a quick profit.
Samp are currently managed by former Fulham boss Ranieri, and he’s keen to bolster his attacking options next season, using his knowledge of London football to identify Ugbo as a target.
The future of Cottagers’ striker Josh Maja is undecided as yet, with his loan from Bordeaux set to expire in the summer. He’s managed two goals in nine games since coming back to England, but could be allowed to rejoin the French outfit if Fulham decide to look elsewhere for strikers.
Of course, much of the movement will depend on what division Scott Parker’s side are in next season. Newcastle United’s victory over Burnley at the weekend, coupled with a devastating last minute defeat to Wolves for Fulham left them six points adrift of the Magpies with just six games to play.