Fulham manager Marco Silva has confirmed that Aleksandar Mitrovic is back in training – after initially not being involved as the Serbian striker looked to force through a transfer to Saudi Arabia.
Al-Hilal have been keen on signing Mitrovic but despite agreeing terms with the centre-forward they have been unable to meet the west London club’s asking price, believed to be around £50million.
Fulham have started to make signings, adding centre-back Calvin Bassey on a four-year deal from Ajax and also Wolves’ frontman Raul Jimenez.
The Whites play their final match in the USA this evening against Chelsea.
Asked about their talismanic number nine, Silva said: “Yes, Mitrovic is back. It is a process and it is not an easy situation. I am not here to talk about the negotiations and clubs that are linked with him. He is with the group since two days ago. Let’s hope we get him as fit as we can in the next few days.
“For me, Mitrovic never was hard to manage. Never, never, never. A lot of people say he has an aura around him but people who know him know he was never a problem or difficult to manage.
“He was so easy to manage in the beginning of the pre-season and he will be if he stays. Mitro knows me, I know him very well – he knows the group we are working with. Everything I said to him and everything he said to me will be between me and him.”
Silva has also had interest from Saudi but up until now has rejected those overtures.
But the Portuguese boss, who has done a sterling job since succeeding Scott Parker, feels the transfer activity has been too subdued.
“Unfortunately, we need many still,” he said. “We have some important players injured.
“I hope they can come sooner. We have just two full-backs, we need a midfielder too and we have just two wingers so we need another two wingers. We have completed our central defenders. I needed these players 15 days or 20 days ago, not now.
“All the players who come now are already coming late unfortunately for us. It is the reality and we tried to do something in a different way this season and unfortunately we weren’t able to do it. The sooner they can come the better.”
Midfielder Joao Palhinha damaged his shoulder against Brentford in the club’s opening match in the States.
Silva said: “It will be difficult for him to be available for the first Premier League match. We have to see week by week how he is going. He is getting better every day. He is not working on the pitch. He is doing some gym and we will see if we can get him on the pitch next week and then we can update you better.”
PICTURE: KEITH GILLARD
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