BY NICK KITUNO
Scott Parker refused to be drawn in on transfer speculation after Fulham saw off Sheffield Wednesday in the third round of the EFL Cup.
The Whites are keen to bolster their squad before the transfer window shuts in October as reports suggest Ademola Lookman could be headed to Craven Cottage on loan from RB Leipzig.
Former Barcelona defender Marlon Santos has also been linked with a move as has Huddersfield Town’s Terence Kongolo. Despite the speculation, Parker kept coy following Fulham’s win.
He said: “My stance on that sort of stuff is it’s all speculation, really… I wouldn’t want to comment on those players.
“I think it’s clear we’re trying to do some business, we want to try and get some players in, but as for those individuals you have mentioned it’s not for me to comment on [them] at this point.”
While Parker was tight-lipped about incoming players, he admitted business was difficult to do in the current climate and against the backdrop of a global pandemic.
He added: “We want to do that, we want to try and add to the squad. We don’t just want to bring in players in for the sake of bringing players in because it’s the thing to do, we want to bring players in with quality who can improve us, who can take us to another level as a team.
“It’s difficult [to do that], at the moment it’s a difficult market. It’s not easy in the current conditions but, hopefully, we can try and do some business and, like I say, help us stay in this division.”
One player who has been linked with a move away from Fulham is Stefan Johansen, who was handed his first start of the season in the 2-0 win over Wednesday.
The Norway international has won promotion twice with the Whites since joining in 2016 but could be on his way out following the summer arrivals of Harrison Reed and Mario Lemina.
Kevin McDonald, who was not in the squad for the EFL Cup clash, has also been linked with moves away from the capital.
Asked about their futures at the club, Parker said: “Again, I’m not sure to be honest with you. While the window is open in this league, and in the season, anything can happen.
“For the individuals you mentioned it goes for everyone at the football club, that when the transfer window is open you can never be positive or never say whether someone is going to be here or they are not going to be here.
“This is part and parcel of the transfer window. It’s not ideal but yeah, we’ll see what happens come the end of the window and see what players are here and what players are not.”
Fulham will now prepare to take on Aston Villa on Monday night before travelling a short distance to face rivals Brentford at their new ground in the EFL Cup.
Aboubakar Kamara and Bobby Decordova-Reid gifted the hosts a two-goal lead heading into the break against Wednesday, but the hosts should have won by more after wasting several chances during a dominant second half.
It is rematch of last season’s Championship play-off final where Joe Bryan’s extra-time brace helped seal an instant return to the Premier League following relegation last year.
Parker said: “As always, when it is a London derby, when you’re up against your rivals, there’s always a little bit more of an edge to it.
“We’re looking forward to playing against a very, very good Brentford side, which they are, so we look forward to that.”
Please support your local paper by making a donation
Please make cheques payable to “MSI Media Limited” and send by post to South London Press, Unit 112, 160 Bromley Road, Catford, London SE6 2NZ
Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has encouraged everyone in the country who can afford to do so to buy a newspaper, and told the Downing Street press briefing recently: “A free country needs a free press, and the newspapers of our country are under significant financial pressure”.
So if you have enjoyed reading this story, and if you can afford to do so, we would be so grateful if you can buy our newspaper or make a donation, which will allow us to continue to bring stories like this one to you both in print and online.