Coleman warns off suitors
By Peter ORourke
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Chris Coleman is determined to ward off the vultures circling over his top players.Fulham boss Chris Coleman is determined to ward off the vultures circling over his top players.
Coleman admits he fears losing his best players when the transfer window reopens with the likes of Papa Bouba Diop, Luis Boa Morte and Steed Malbranque all attracting interest.
Diop and Boa Morte both underlined their importance to Fulham when starring in Saturday's 2-1 win over Blackburn after returning from suspension.
Coleman, who is not a big fan of the January transfer window, has vowed to do all he can to keep Diop and Boa Morte at Craven Cottage.
"I hate the transfer window," said Coleman. "While we are desperate to bring a couple of faces in, we are still looking around hanging on to the guys we have got.
"If the unthinkable happened and we lost one of our best players, there is not a lot of time because we don't know how much money we would get, how much I could fork out on a replacement. It is a mad rush.
"Unfortunately for us there are certain teams in the league who have got a lot of money, a lot of pulling power and we have to compete with that, so I am a realist.
"Of course we all want to keep our best players if we are going to progress.
"If the unthinkable happens and somebody comes knocking, then it is going to have to be a lot, lot of money.
"Because the players we have got - like Boa Morte, Malbranque, Diop - they are unique players.
"They are not three players who are disgruntled or unhappy. You can see how much they give to us when they play.
"They enjoy it and I see them every day on the training pitch, and I am confident they are going to be here."
Coleman singled out Diop for special praise and believes that with Patrick Vieira now gone to Juventus there is no one to match him in The Premiership.
"He has got great feet, scores goals, defends well, tackles, has got good pace and I can't think of another player in the league with his stature and ability," added Coleman.
"There was one, but he (Vieira) has gone to Juventus."