Fulham are said to be rivalling both Middlesbrough and Reading to the potential signing of Oxford United defender Rob Dickie according to The Mirror.
The 24-year-old has been hugely impressive with the League One promotion hopefuls, having made 46 appearances in total for the U’s in all competitions this term.
Oxford are currently sat third in the League One standings, and will be hoping they can win promotion into the second tier at the earliest of opportunities.
However, their push for promotion has been put on hold for the time being due to off-the-field events, with no scheduled date in place for competitive action to get back underway.
The off-the-field problems have led to financial uncertainty for some lower league clubs in the EFL, and it is claimed by The Mirror that the club may have to cash-in on some players to survive.
We take a look at TWO pros and TWO cons to Fulham beating Middlesbrough to the signing of Dickie heading into the summer transfer window.
Pro: The cost of any potential deal.
Given the current financial uncertainty in football due to recent off-the-field events, Oxford United could be forced to cash-in on some of their key players to keep the club alive.
Dickie is one of their best players at this moment in time, and it isn’t a surprise to see him attracting interest from a number of Championship clubs.
Fulham could land his signature for a smaller fee than they would have originally have had to pay for Dickie.
Con: His lack of Championship experience.
Dickie only made one appearance for Reading’s first team after progressing through their academy ranks.
He has had loan spells with the likes of Cheltenham Town and Lincoln City before moving to Oxford United, but he doesn’t have much experience at all in the Championship, which will be a slight concern as it can be an unforgiving league at times.
Pro: He’s a player playing at the top of his game.
Dickie has been brilliant for Oxford United this season, and has played his part in their push for promotion into the Championship.
The central defender has captained the U’s at times this season, and is a real leader on the pitch, despite only being 24-years-old.
Fulham would be getting a player that would be at the top of his game, and full of confidence of replicating that with the Cottagers at the earliest of opportunities.
Con: Can they offer him regular game time?
Fulham are a team that are heading in the right direction under the management of Scott Parker, with the Cottagers currently sat third in the Championship table.
However, given the fact that they could well be playing their football in the Premier League next season, questions will be asked as to whether Dickie would be given regular game time with them or not.
You would imagine that it would be tough to see him breaking into the starting XI ahead of the likes of Michael Hector, Tim Ream or Alfie Mawson anytime soon, which could tempt him with a move elsewhere instead.