Italian striker Montella joins Fulham, John to leave

January 4, 2007

Manager Chris Coleman insists new Fulham striker Vincenzo Montella will buck the trend of recent Serie A flops and be a hit in the Premiership.

Roma forward Montella, 32, has signed a six-month loan deal after he grew frustrated at his lack of first team opportunities under coach Luciano Spalletti.

The former Sampdoria forward has enjoyed a glittering career at club level and is the second highest goalscorer in Italian top flight history.

But recent high-profile stars such as Juan Sebastian Veron, Hernan Crespo and Andriy Shevchenko have struggled to adapt to life in England, despite enjoying success in Serie A.

Coleman said: 'I did discuss the fact that other players have struggled to adapt from Serie A but we think this league will work for him.

'He has a fantastic record in one of the toughest leagues in the world so we're very hopeful for him.

'We make a lot of chances for our strikers and he will enjoy playing for us and, hopefully, score a lot of goals.

'He is here until the end of the season and does not want to return home. That tells me a lot about him because he wants to test himself in what he considers to be the best league in the world.'

Coleman also confirmed he has accepted a bid from an unnamed Premiership club for striker Collins John.

The Dutchman has enjoyed a stormy relationship with Coleman, who has publicly questioned his attitude in the past, and the Cottagers boss fired another broadside at the 21-year-old prior to his departure.

He added: 'Collins' agent told us that he wanted to leave the club and we have accepted a good offer for him.

'The disappointing thing from my point of view was that Collins told his agent he had spoken to me about it, which he hadn't.

'Collins has got it all to do in terms of proving himself. He looks like he could go on and prove he's a goalscorer but he hasn't yet.'

Fulham also hope to tie up a £1.5million deal for US striker Clint Dempsey, 23, after his work permit tribunal hearing was set for next week.