Date:Friday January 12 2007
Fulham have offered a deal to former Russia captain Alexei Smertin, according to the player's agent.
Smertin left Russian Premier League outfit Dinamo Moscow last week, raising speculation that the former Chelsea, Portsmouth and Charlton defensive midfielder could be set for a return to the Premiership.
Rumours of a move to West Ham or a return to Charlton have been going around in the Russian media, but Chris Coleman's Fulham now appear to be the favourites to clinch the 31-year old's signature.
The player's agent, Paulo Barboza, also claimed that Smertin's former boss at Charlton, Alan Curbishley, currently in charge at West Ham, has made an approach for his services.
Barboza told Tvoy Den newspaper:
'We are in active discussions with mainly English clubs. We have a whole bunch of interesting offers. Fulham are one of the clubs who want to sign Alexei, and I met with their representatives recently. They have made Smertin a firm offer, but it's too early to talk about signing a contract.An offer from Alan Curbishley at West Ham, who knows the player very well from his time at Charlton, interested the player. But the team currently lie at the bottom of the league and are fighting for survival, and we don't want Alexei to join another relegation candidate. Smertin has enough strength and experience to accomplish higher things. Plus we have more attractive offers. I think that in the coming days everything will be finalised. What remains is to settle a few matters regarding Alexei's move, including with his former club Dinamo Moscow.'
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