There were claims in recent days that Fulham are determined to land Aleksandar Mitrovic before he heads off to the World Cup in Russia with Serbia.
Now the London Evening Standard are reporting that this is definitely the case, according to what they have been told via their Fulham sources.
However, they say that is also 100% dependent on them beating Aston Villa on Saturday in the play-off final.
The need is twofold, for Fulham to be able to afford to buy Mitro off Newcastle, plus of course for the Cottagers to be a Premier League club to satisfy the player’s ambitions. Plus of course from Newcastle’s point of view, money to be added to Rafa Benitez’ transfer budget this summer.
The report says they expect to pay at least £15m for the striker but Slavisa Jokanovic has been reinforcing just how all-consuming Wembley will be to the club on Saturday.
The Fulham boss summing up the importance: ‘It is one game where we have an opportunity to cross this magic line.’
The result will be integral to not only the future of Aleksandar Mitrovic but to a number of others as well, including Jokanovic himself.
The Fulham boss has one year to run on his contract and irrelevant of what happens against Villa, he has plenty of admirers. With the Standard saying even Chelsea are interested in him as a possible replacement for Antonio Conte, Jokanovic was a player there for a couple of seasons back in the early 2000s.
It is easy to forget just what a great job Slavisa Jokanovic did at Watford and how badly he was treated.
Watford started the 2014/15 season with Beppe Sannino in charge until 31 August 2014, Óscar García 2–29 September, Billy McKinlay 29 September-7 October and then finally Slavisa Jokanovic from 7 October until summer 2015.
At a chaotic club he did a remarkable job in getting them promoted to the Premier League, only for their eccentric owners to replace Jokanovic.
So he is basically a Premier League manager already, in all but name.
You have to feel that this all or nothing for Fulham this weekend.
A win and promotion would/could see them keep the manager, sign Aleksandar Mitrovic (and others), plus keep exciting talents such as teenager Ryan Sessegnon. A defeat and easy to see it all falling apart.
Slavisa Jokanovic talking to the Standard:
“I am only thinking about the (play-off) final and I do not have time to think about different things (such as what happens after that).
“I have enough important jobs at the moment to think about these kinds of situations.
“I have a contract and that is it. I am not thinking about my future or about players’ futures.
“What is important is the game against Villa and after this game we are going to see.
“A huge job is ahead of my team and myself.
“It is an opportunity to be part of the best football league in the world….one game where we have an opportunity to cross this magic line.”