Fulham agree Stekelenburg fee as Roma chief admits keeper is headed for London

The Holland No1 could move to Craven Cottage as early as this week after two clubs finalise a deal worth up to £4.3million, with Rafael Cabral set to replace him in Roma goal
By Wayne Veysey ¦ Chief Correspondent

Maarten Stekelenburg could move to Fulham this week after the Londoners agreed a fee with Roma for the Dutch goalkeeper.

Goal understands that the Cottagers will play up to €5million (£4.3m) for Stekelenburg after finalising a deal with the Serie A club.

Roma general manager Franco Baldini admitted today that the Holland international, 30, is on the verge of signing for Fulham.

As revealed by Goal, the Cottagers have been on Stekelenburg's trail for several months and made a breakthrough in their bid to sign him at the end of April.

Baldini, who is being lined up by Tottenham to work alongside Andre Villas-Boas as technical director, claimed he was in the English capital last week to negotiate the sale of Roma's goalkeeper amid reports he was also discussing a move to sell Daniele De Rossi to a Premier League club.

"I went to London to sell Stekelenburg to Fulham," he told Corriere dello Sport. "There were many issues to be resolved.

"I reached an agreement subject to a number of conditions, like the player's personal demands and the medical.

"I have not done anything about De Rossi and I can't say anything."

As revealed by Goal, Roma have lined up Santos 'keeper Rafael Cabral, 22, to replace Fulham-bound Stekelenburg as their No1.

With current No2 Mauro Goicoechea set to return to Uruguayan club Danubio following a season on loan at the Stadio Olympico, the Giallorossi are also looking to sign Stefano Sorrentino, 34, from Palermo as experienced back-up.

Stekelenburg flew to England on the last day of the January window to complete a loan move to Fulham until the end of last 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 remained open between the two clubs, with Fulham prioritising a new goalkeeper after completing the signings of centre-back Fernando Amorebieta and midfielder Derek Boateng.

The Cottagers have offered a one-year contract extension to long-standing No1 Mark Schwarzer, but the Australian has yet to commit beyond the end of this month as he weighs up his options.

Meanwhile, Tottenham target Baldini admits he will hold talks with Roma president James Pallotta, with his own future set to be one of the main items on the agenda.

Manager-less Roma failed to secure a European spot for next season after finishing sixth in Serie A and lost to bitter city rivals Lazio in the Coppa Italia final.

"There are a lot of problems: disappointing results, choosing a couple of wrong coaches. At the end someone has to pay for it," Baldini said. "I have to talk with Pallotta, express my views and listen to his."