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West Ham plotting summer raid on Fulham with 5 names on their wishlist

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Fulham tripped at the final hurdle in the Championship, losing to Birmingham City at St Andrew’s and missing the chance to leapfrog Cardiff City to win automatic promotion to the Premier League.

And now the Cottagers have to go through the lottery of the play-offs with the three other teams – Aston Villa, Middlesbrough and Derby – all showing decent form.

Should Fulham fail to go up via the play-offs, then a number of their star men are likely to leave.

And West Ham United are closely watching the West London outfit in the play-offs as they line up moves for four players and their manager Slavisa Jokanovic, according to a report by Football.London.

Jokanovic could become West Ham’s next manager, according to this report, as fans grow increasingly frustrated with David Moyes’ negative tactics.

The Scotsman completed the job he was tasked with – to keep the Hammers up – but his short-term contract expires and the owners have doubts over his capabilities, which could spark a move for Jokanovic.

In addition to the Fulham manger, four players are on the Irons’ radar.

Captain Tom Cairney has been a long-term target for West Ham and a summer move can be expected if Fulham stay down.

Ryan Fredericks, the attack-minded right-back, is being lined up as a long-term replacement for Pablo Zabaleta at The London Stadium and he will become available on a free this summer if he does not pen a new deal at Craven Cottage.

Marcus Bettinelli is also a target for the East London club, who could lose both Joe Hart and Adrian this summer while Fulham’s on-loan star Aleksandar Mitrovic has been twice watched by West Ham, who could launch a bid to land the Newcastle striker.

The Verdict

The vast interest in Fulham’s squad shows just how good they have been this year.

But they face a real battle to keep their manager and a number of their first-team stars if they remain a Championship club.

Cairney and Fredericks definitely deserve Premier League football next year, Bettinelli needs to force a move to enhance his international ambitions and Mitrovic is unlikely to return to Craven Cottage if they do not go up.

And while Jokanovic seems committed to his project at Fulham, a move to West Ham would surely be very tempting for the former Watford boss.

Fulham fans – Can you keep any of these players? Let us know below…

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