Football

Patrick Roberts targeted by Premier League trio in January

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Fulham striker Patrick Roberts is attracting widespread interest from the Premier League and is expected to be the subject of bids from Manchester United, Arsenal and Manchester City when the transfer window reopens in January.

The Daily Express reports that the 17-year-old starlet has shot to prominence at Craven Cottage over the past six months after making his first-team breakthrough in west London towards the end of the previous campaign.

Roberts was one of the few positives for Cottagers fans to take from 2013/14 after seeing their side relegated from the top-flight last term, under the combined tutelage of Martin Jol, Rene Meulensteen and Felix Magath.

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Fall from grace

Magath was the man still in charge when Fulham's Premier League fate was finally sealed, and his disastrous tenure came to an end last weekend with the club sat bottom of the Championship without a single win from their opening eight games.

Despite the club's poor form Roberts has still impressed in the second tier, prompting admiring glances from a growing list of suitors keen to secure the talented teenager's signature.

Gunners boss Arsene Wenger has a world renowned reputation for identifying, nurturing and developing young players, so it's no surprise to see Roberts linked with a potential move to the Emirates.

But, with competition for places in North London at an all-time high following Arsenal's recent capture of Danny Welbeck from Manchester United, the Fulham ace might not get much opportunity for regular first-team action.

Cut-price valuation

The same can be said for the Red Devils, who were actually credited with an interest in the player during the transfer window, only to be put off by the £15 million valuation of the emerging star.

However, it's now believed that Fulham would accept bids in the region of £10 million as owner Shahid Khan looks to provide interim manager Kit Symons with funds to reinvest in the under-performing squad when the transfer window reopens in the New Year.

That means that a potential switch to Old Trafford to join the Louis van Gaal revolution could now be back on the cards for Roberts, with the £5 million knockdown in asking price tempting Manchester United to make a bid.

Rival interest

Manuel Pellegrini has also been monitoring the England youth international's development closely, but chances of playing time at the Etihad Stadium would be even more unlikely for a player that needs games to continue his progression at the current rate of upward trajectory.

Roberts is under contract with Fulham until the summer of 2016 so the club will be under no immediate pressure to sell, but will also be conscious that next summer he'll have just a year left on his deal and failure to pen an extension could ultimately force his exit for an even smaller fee.

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Topics:
Fulham
Arsenal
Football
Manchester City
Manchester United
Championship
Premier League

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