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Deal to sign Stuttgart striker for £3 million is complicated by work permit difficulties and his history of knee problems, while Andy Johnson and Chris Baird are offered to Wigan

By Wayne Veysey | Chief Correspondent

Fulham are closing in on a £3 million swoop for Stuttgart striker Pavel Pogrebnyak and have also had a player-exchange bid for Wigan's Hugo Rodallega rejected, can reveal.

The move for Pogrebnyak faces a series of administrative hurdles today because the Russia international does not yet have a work permit to enter the UK. has learned that the 28-year-old began his medical in Munich on Monday, where a Fulham physio flew out to join famed Bayern Muich doctor Hans Muller-Wohlfahrt.

But the deal is complicated by Pogrebnyak’s recent history of knee trouble and he will undergo further physical tests today under Muller-Wohlfahrt’s watchful eye.

Sources have told that Fulham will spend today trying to push through a work permit for the striker, who has scored eight goals in 30 internationals, and that the deal is expected “to go down to the wire”.

Pogrebnyak is not the only centre-forward who could be heading to Craven Cottage. It is understood that Fulham have offered Andy Johnson and Chris Baird in a straight swap for Rodallega.

However, Wigan Athletic want the player-exchange bid to be supplemented by cash, while Johnson is believed to be reluctant to move to the north-west.

The former Everton, Birmingham City and Crystal Palace forward is settled in London and is ready to see out his contract, which expires in the summer.

QPR are also in the hunt to sign Rodallega, who is also out of contract in the summer, and there have been reports that Tottenham could make a late bid although understands that would only happen if they off-load Roman Pavlyuchenko.

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