Tuesday 22 January 2019

Real work begins for £160m jackpot winners

Aston Villa's Jack Grealish. Photo credit: Nigel French/PA Wire
Aston Villa's Jack Grealish. Photo credit: Nigel French/PA Wire

Ian Baker

Fulham can now start building for the Premier League after their £160m (€182m) return to the top flight but their biggest victory could be keeping the players they have.

Ensuring Ryan Sessegnon stays is imperative, with the youngster involved in all three goals the West Londoners scored during the play-off games, including a delightful pass to set up Tom Cairney's winner against Aston Villa.

Fulham coach Slavisa Jokanovic insists the 18-year-old has no intention of leaving.

"He is really happy where he is right now," said Jokanovic. "The player wants to stay and we will see what happens."

Midfielder Cairney is confident the side will not be broken up.

"People are coming to the end of contracts but this team is in the Premier League, based in London,'' he said. ''It's an attractive club."

One player whose future is in serious limbo is Aleksandar Mitrovic. The on-loan Newcastle United striker wants a permanent switch to Craven Cottage.

"I want to thank the staff and players at Fulham," he said. "They gave me support and love. I would like to stay of course - but I'm still a Newcastle player."

Villa will now spend a third season outside the Premier League and with it more difficulty in meeting financial fair play requirements.

Permanent signings of goalkeeper Sam Johnstone, wingers Robert Snodgrass and Josh Onomah along with striker Lewis Grabban, all of whom were on loan, now seem out of the equation.

John Terry is likely to leave and they face difficulty keeping Jack Grealish (above).

Meanwhile, DC United remain hopeful that Wayne Rooney will soon join them from Everton.

Rooney was in the American capital Washington DC this week for talks about joining the Major League Soccer side.

"There is interest in Wayne Rooney from our end and I think there is interest from his end too," DC United head coach Ben Olsen said after his side's 1-1 draw at LAFC in Los Angeles on Saturday night.

"I hope it can get over the line because he's a very good player who can help us. He would be a great player for this league." (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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