Fulham seal striker swoop
By James Pearson
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Fulham have sealed the signing of Watford's Heidar Helguson.
Fulham have sealed the signing of Watford's Heidar Helguson on a four-year contract.
A host of clubs were chasing the Iceland international striker's services, including newly-promoted Wigan and Sunderland.
However, Chris Coleman's Cottagers have won the race for his signature and his arrival could allow Andy Cole to return to Blackburn.
The fee of £1.3 million is just fractionally less than the £1.5 million The Hornets paid for Helguson back in 2000.
Helguson enjoyed his time at Watford, but felt the time was right to return to England's top-flight following a brief spell in The Premiership with the club.
"I enjoyed my time at Watford as I made many good friends there over the years," he told Fulham's official website.
"But when the opportunity came along to return to The Premiership with Fulham it was simply something that I could not turn down.
"I am happy to join the club and am looking forward to working with the management team and hopefully to securing my place in the starting line-up."
Watford boss Adrian Boothroyd was keen to retain the 20-goal striker, but admitted the lure of The Premiership made it impossible for him to stay.
"I've made no secret of the fact that I'd like to have had Heidar as part of my squad next season," he told the club's official website.
"But the lure of The Premiership has proved too strong to resist and I can understand any player wanting to test themselves at the highest possible level.
"A footballer's career doesn't last too long and the chance for a player to be in a position to make his own choice about his future, particularly at our level, is reasonably rare."
Watford chief executive Mark Ashton revealed a large slice of the Helguson fee will go back into strengthening the squad.
"A substantial amount of the money we've received will go towards bringing in new players," confirmed Ashton to Sky Sports News.
"Sam Parkin was a player we were interested in. It wouldn't be fair for me to disclose Adrian's targets.
"From the board to the management team we thank him for all his efforts and wish him all the best in the future."