Timothy Fosu-Mensah can return to Manchester United, says Claudio Ranieri
Ranieri refuses to be drawn on possible loan deal for Chelsea's Gary Cahill
By Richard Cooke
Last Updated: 04/01/19 4:15pm
Fulham manager Claudio Ranieri is prepared to let Timothy Fosu-Mensah end his loan spell early and return to Manchester United.
The 21-year-old defender joined Fulham on a season-long loan last summer but has struggled to establish himself in the team.
He played in four of the club's opening six games on their return to the Premier League but has remained on the fringes ever since, making just three more appearances.
Speaking on Friday, Ranieri suggested Fosu-Mensah's opportunities with the Cottagers would continue to be limited.
"If Manchester United want him he can go, because with me he hasn't played often and I understand he is young and he needs to play," said Ranieri.
"At this moment for me it is very important to achieve our goal now which is to save Fulham [from relegation]."
Fosu-Mensah and Arsenal's Calum Chambers are the two permitted loanees from top-flight rivals on Fulham's books and reports suggest that if the Dutchman was off-loaded they could pursue an interest in taking Gary Cahill on loan for the rest of the season.
However, Ranieri refused to be drawn on the Chelsea central defender or any other potential targets in the transfer window.
"I am speaking with my club and not you, I'm sorry, you can understand," said the Italian when quizzed about transfers during his press conference on Friday.
"If there are some opportunities the club is ready, that is the maximum I can tell you."
Meanwhile, Ranieri is resigned to being without Alfie Mawson for the foreseeable future after the centre-back injured a knee during the 1-0 win over Huddersfield on December 29.
"I don't know when he will come back," Ranieri said. "Everything is done, he is undergoing rehabilitation and then we will see day after day.
"It's difficult to say how long [he is out]. It's important he recovers well. We have to stay calm and I prefer that the player is 100 per cent ready and I don't want to take a risk."