Marco Silva has refused to offer any assurances that he will reject his big-money offer from Saudi Arabia as the Fulham head coach warned that the club is not ready for the new campaign.
Fulham’s pre-season preparations have been clouded by ongoing uncertainty over Silva and star striker Aleksandar Mitrovic, who have both been approached by Saudi Pro League clubs.
Speaking in Philadelphia on the club’s pre-season tour of the United States, Silva confirmed that he has received an offer — understood to be from Al-Ahli — but repeatedly said that he would not reveal his answer to that proposal.
He did, however, say that he has rejected offers to leave Fulham in the recent past and added that his “commitment” to the club has always been clear.
He also said that Mitrovic is “not working properly” with his teammates on this pre-season training camp after two offers from Al-Hilal were rejected by Fulham earlier this month.
“Let’s talk clearly about Mitrovic,” said Silva. “t is not an ideal scenario. He is not going to play tomorrow [against Fulham in a pre-season friendly]. He is not working properly with his teammates.”
Fulham are yet to make a signing this summer, but are close to adding £30 million worth of defenders to Silva’s squad in the shape of Mohammed Salisu and Calvin Bassey.
It is understood that Fulham are close to an agreement with Southampton over their swoop for Salisu, who will cost more than £15 million. And the London club are also in advanced talks over an £18 million deal to sign Bassey, a Nigerian international, from Ajax.
Asked about his own future, Silva confirmed he has an offer from elsewhere but said: “I will not talk about that situation here.”
He added: “About interest from other clubs, about rumors about myself, it is not the first time. Last month, it happened the same, official offers that I received. During the last season as well, two or three times.
“I didn’t speak about that situation. I have always shown commitment to this football club, every single time. The commitment was clear and it will continue in this way.”
There is also doubt over the future of midfielder Joao Palhinha, who is of interest to West Ham United and Liverpool, and Silva said his squad is not big enough for the new season following the departure of seven players this summer.
“It has been two unusual weeks for us,” Silva said. “I am talking more about the preparation because clearly we are late.
“I have much more things on my mind than Mitro, believe me. The situation is more than just one player. We lost such a big number of players and we have to prepare a Premier League season when you didn’t sign at least one, at least to make the fans a little bit more happy with the situation, this is the biggest situation for me.”
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