Fulham to sign Southampton goalkeeper Niemi

January 8, 2006

LONDON, Jan 7 (Reuters) - Fulham have reached agreement with Southampton to sign their Finnish goalkeeper Antti Niemi on Monday, the Premier League club has announced.

Antti Niemi
GettyImages / CliveRoseAntti Niemi: Saints keeper.

The move was confirmed by Southampton manager George Burley who left the former Finland keeper out of his second division side's 4-3 FA Cup third round victory over MK Dons.

A report on Southampton's official website said the west London club are reportedly set to pay about £1million for Niemi, who joined the south coast club for £2million from Hearts 3-1/2 years ago.

Burley wanted to keep the Finn, who retired from international football in May, but said: 'Antti has spoken to Fulham and I believe he has agreed terms.

'He is almost 34 and wanted to end his career with a deal that will give him and his family security.

'I told him that I would like him to stay but I did not feel I could stand in his way. It was a tough decision for him but he wants to go and it should go through on Monday.

Burley added: 'It was not a financial decision to sell, simply that Antti wanted the chance to secure a Premiership contract at this stage of his career.'