By Wayne Veysey
Fulham’s chief January centre-forward targets are Marseille’s Andre-Pierre Gignac and Championship pair Nicky Maynard and Robert Snodgrass, Goal.com can reveal.
Manager Martin Jol wants a goalscoring striker to reinforce his attacking options in next month’s window as the Cottagers look to gradually overhaul their ageing front line.
The rift between Jol and Bobby Zamora, highlighted by Goal.com last month, has been brought into the spotlight after the England international was left out of the Fulham squad that lost to Swansea City nine days ago.
But it is understood that the club’s January reinforcements are not dependent on Zamora’s situation, despite a growing acceptance among senior Fulham officials that the striker, who turns 31 next month, is for sale at the right price, believed to be around the £5 million mark.
Jol wants a young, mobile centre-forward with a goalscoring pedigree and the potential for improvement as he looks to develop a more expansive style of play at Craven Cottage.
He remains a big admirer of Gignac, 26, who was at Fulham’s Motspur Park training ground on transfer deadline day in August negotiating a switch to west London.
But Goal.com has learned that the pay demands of the Frenchman and his representatives scuppered the £7m transfer that had been agreed by the two clubs, and Fulham will look elsewhere in January for a centre-forward if leading target Gignac once again prices himself out of a move.
Gignac, who has earned 16 caps for France, has three-and-a-half years remaining on his Marseille contract but has slipped down the pecking order at the Stade Velodrome after falling out with manager Didier Deschamps and is available to potential suitors.
Red alert | Jol is closely monitoring Bristol City's front man Maynard
Bristol City’s Maynard, 25, is being closely monitored by Fulham, who have been impressed by his strong scoring record in a struggling team (44 in 118 league appearances for the club), and there is also a strong interest in highly rated Leeds United forward Snodgrass, 24, who is versatile enough to play in a number of attacking positions.
Fulham’s January strategy is believed to be only partly dependent upon Zamora, who has had a series of disagreements with Jol over the manager’s use of him and is believed to be unhappy about the progressive overhaul of the team’s tactics, which is centred on phasing out a system with a support striker and introducing a Dutch-style 4-3-3 formation.
Jol is expected to make greater use of Andy Johnson’s pace and movement over the next month even though the former Crystal Palace forward is out of contract at the end of the season and is holding out for a better deal.
Zamora is one of Fulham’s top earners on a £45,000-a-week contract that has two-and-a-half years to run but he is settled in London and does not want to leave the south-east.
Sunderland have expressed the most serious interest in the forward but Zamora rejected a move to Hull City in the summer of 2009 even though a deal had been agreed between Fulham and the Humberside club.
QPR, West Ham, Crystal Palace and Brighton and Hove Albion are more plausible options for a player who is not believed to be a serious option for Tottenham, another of his former clubs.
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