Fulham in talks with Ajax to seal Jol deal

FULHAM are believed to be holding discussions with Ajax with regard to making Martin Jol their new manager.

The Craven Cottage side are currently managerless after Roy Hodgson moved to Anfield this summer to replace Rafael Benitez.

Fulham have been linked with a host of big names with the likes of Jol, who had a three-year spell in charge of Tottenham, along with Sven-Goran Eriksson, Bob Bradley and Ottmar Hitzfeld all reportedly in the frame.

But it now seems 54-year-old Dutch coach Jol is the man the Cottagers want and they are reportedly locked in talks in order to agree a compensation package for his services.

And it is believed Jol’s appointment as Hodgson’s successor could be finalised within the next 48 hours. Jol is believed to be keen on the Craven Cottage hotseat due a combination of his love of English football and his exasperation with the Dutch outfit’s transfer policy.

The former Spurs boss still has a house in London from his time at White Hart Lane and his wife’s love of the city is also a consideration.

Jol is known to have rejected the chance of a move to the Midlands after leaving Tottenham, and instead switched to Germany with Hamburg, and then back to the Netherlands with Ajax, as he waited patiently for a job offer in London.

He believes he has unfinished business in England; having taken Spurs to two successive fifth place finishes in the Premier League.

It had been felt Fulham could not compete with Jol’s £2m wages at Ajax, but owner Mohamed Al Fayed has made an offer the 54-year-old could not resist, including supplying the finance to compete for new players, while Ajax are considering selling two of their World Cup stars, Luis Suarez and Gregory van der Wiel.

In the past two weeks, Jol has looked on as Ajax entertained a £20m approach from Bayern Munich for Van der Wiel while letting Denmark winger Dennis Rommedahl move to Olympiakos.

Jol said: “The board told me that everything was going to be all right. But it clearly is not. To me that is a big disappointment.’’

On Saturday Fulham caretaker boss Ray Lewington claimed he is still in the dark regarding the identity of Hodgson’s successor. However he said is confident the club will be able to attract a “top-drawer’’ manager to Craven Cottage.

“We don’t know if it’s Martin Jol. It’s just another name that has been plucked out of the air as far as we are concerned,” Lewington said.

“What I do know is that they are going to try to go for a top-drawer manager. We are a big club and we should be attracting a big-name manager now.”

Jol would represent a major coup if he made the move, as the former Tottenham boss would need to turn his back on the chance of Champions League football with Ajax this coming season.

But Lewington says he has no idea who Hodgson’s successor will be, although he is confident the Englishman’s legacy will enable the club to attract a manager of the highest calibre.

“I really don’t know if I’ll be in charge for the Sweden tour. All I know is that I’m in charge up until the new manager is appointed,” added the former Watford boss.

“We go for the top now. Having had Roy, you need to bring in someone of that stature to match him.”


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