Fulham open talks with Roma over £5.1m Stekelenburg swoop

The Londoners have made another move for the Dutch goalkeeper after failing in a bid to land him on loan from the Giallorossi in January, with Mark Schwarzer set to turn No.2
By Wayne Veysey | Chief Correspondent

Fulham have opened preliminary talks with Roma about a summer deal for goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg, Goal.com understands.

The Londoners failed in a deadline-day bid to land the Netherlands No.1 in January but have made another move and have been told during initial discussions that the asking price for the 30-year-old will be €6 million (£5.1m).

It is believed that Stekelenburg is keen to leave Serie A and move to London despite an upturn in his form following the exit of former Roma manager Zdenek Zeman in February.

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The Dutchman flew to England on the last day of the January window to complete a loan move to Craven Cottage until the end of the season but the Giallorossi pulled the plug on the deal when he was at Heathrow airport after failing to land a replacement in time.

"The channels of communication have stayed open since January," a source told Goal.com. "The two clubs are in talks about a permanent move. Stekelenburg is playing better since the change of manager but he wants to leave Roma. He doesn't speak Italian and the environment doesn't really suit him."

The Serie A club have already begun lining up a replacement for the Dutchman and are believed to be concentrating their recruitment efforts on the Brazilian market - one keeper on their shortlist is Corinthians' Cassio Ramos.

Fulham have prioritised signing a new goalkeeper after agreeing a deal for Athletic Bilbao central defender Fernando Amorebieta, who has signed a pre-contract agreement with the west Londoners ahead of a free transfer in the summer.

The Cottagers have offered a one-year contract extension to long-standing No.1 Mark Schwarzer but the Australian, who turns 41 in October, is mulling over whether to stay on after being told that a new goalkeeper will be coming to the club this summer.

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