Cottagers lead Conference defender chase

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Fulham are thought to be leading the chase for highly-rated Mansfield Town defender Tom Naylor.

The 20-year-old has been the subject of two bids from Npower League One teams, including Bournemouth, and also enjoyed a brief spell with Nigel Clough's Derby County.

Martin Jol is now in prime position to land the player should the Cottagers wish, with Naylor playing for the club's reserves against Manchester United earlier in the week as part of a trial in west London. He's again expected to feature against Crystal Palace for the club's second string tonight.

"Tom has caught the attention from numerous clubs this year and is taking everything in his stride," agent Jermaine Blackwood told Sky Sports, who are reporting that three Barclays Premier League clubs have enquired over the player's availability.

"In the games he's played for both Derby County and Fulham he put in a good account of himself and didn't look out of place, if you didn't know him you wouldn't have thought he was currently plying his trade in the Conference Premier. Obviously it's still early days and there's still a long way to go.


"He will continue to be monitored for the remainder of the week and then we will take things from there."

It's unclear how much The Stags would want for the Fulham target.

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