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Monday, January 28, 2008
Groningen accept Fulham bid for striker Nevland

Fulham manager Roy Hodgson has revealed the club are close to signing Norway striker Erik Nevland.

The 30-year-old forward underwent a medical at the club's training ground in Motspur Park today after the Cottagers agreed a deal with Nevland's club FC Groningen.

Fulham had a 1.85million bid accepted for Nevland and the Dutch club will receive a further 370,000 if the struggling Cottagers retain their Premier League status this season.

'We have a striker undergoing a medical at the moment called Erik Nevland from FC Groningen,' Hodgson said at the club's press conference.

'As I understand it, the two clubs have agreed a fee and I hope there will be another striker on our books before we play Aston Villa at the weekend.

'He is a very good player who was available down to some skilful negotiations between our club and the player's agent.

'It was not easy to get a player who is the captain of their team. Fortunately, the Premier League, Fulham Football Club and me being here was an attraction to him and we have been lucky enough to get him.

'He is a good player and will be up for the fight. He has a big heart and prepared to work very hard. He is the ideal signing for the situation we find ourselves in.'

Fulham are second from bottom in the league, five points adrift from safety, and travel to face fellow strugglers Bolton tomorrow night in what is a vital clash for both teams.

To help in their fight against relegation, Hodgson has signed Leon Andreasen and Brede Hangeland.

Both are likely to be included in the squad for the Trotters, with Hangeland set to replace the suspended Dejan Stefanovic.

However, Hodgson has not yet completed all this transfer activity and hopes to have a few more players at the club come deadline day.

He added: 'I am hoping we will finalise the one or two deals we are working on and I do think we will be stronger with the players we have got.

'It is no secret that we have reached an agreement with Rangers for Daniel Cousin and he wants to come and play for us. But it is subject to an appeal that FIFA are looking into.

'I am hopeful that appeal will be granted because he played for 20 minutes [for Lens] before being transferred to Rangers and that seems a harsh penalty. Hopefully it will be done before Friday, otherwise it will be too late.'

American international Eddie Johnson is also expected to join the club after he was granted a work permit. The striker is currently back in America completing the necessary paperwork to seal his move to the Premier League.

Another player who has joined Fulham is the experienced Finnish midfielder Jari Litmanen who has been on trial at the club.

Litmanen was a free agent after leaving Swedish side Malmv FF and undergoing an ankle operation.

The 36-year-old has now fully recovered and Hodgson is confident the former Liverpool and Ajax star will benefit Fulham's fight for survival.

Hodgson said: 'Jari finished his contract last year and had operations on his ankle and his Achilles tendon and is probably the fittest he has been for years.

'I said to him that before you sign a long contract elsewhere, wouldn't you like to come and play for us until the end of the season. Luckily for me he said 'yes'. It is a bonus to have a player like him.

'Although he has not played much football lately, you never forget how to play football, and when you are as physically fit as he is going to be, what's to say he won't come in here and do a great job for us.'

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