West Ham United are reportedly among the clubs interested in signing Fulham centre-back Tosin Adarabioyo, who will have a release clause briefly come into play this summer.
According to Football League World, the 24-year-old had a £10m release clause in his contract with the Cottagers last summer after their relegation from the Premier League which has since expired, with the defender still plying his trade at Craven Cottage.
However, it has now been revealed that a new release clause will come into play for a very brief period at the start of the summer transfer window.
The west London outfit look set for an instant return to the top flight as Championship winners after a stellar 2021/22 season, with Adarabioyo a major contributor to that feat.
However, despite looking likely to re-establish his credentials as a Premier League player with Fulham, the defender has been subject to plenty of interest from current top-flight clubs, with the Hammers among those who have taken a shine to the centre-back.
With the possibility of being able to sign the former Manchester City player for a cut-price fee, West Ham must stay alert, with the 24-year-old certainly a bright prospect.
Amid injuries, suspensions and prosecution from the RSPCA, this season has seen David Moyes forced to tinker with the Irons’ defence, particularly whilst juggling the demands of four different competitions.
Kurt Zouma has established himself as the Scotsman’s first-choice centre-back, despite the 28-year-old being prosecuted by the RSPCA after a video of him kicking his cat emerged online.
However, the identity of Zouma’s partner has been a talking point throughout the campaign, with Craig Dawson the current favourite ahead of Issa Diop while Angelo Ogbonna recovers from an ACL injury. However, at 31 years of age and with just over a year left on his current contract, the Englishman isn’t a long-term solution.
With the Hammers currently sixth in the league, there is still a strong chance of them securing European football for a second consecutive season, with the east London club also in the quarter-finals of the Europa League, where they will take on Ligue 1 side Lyon.
If they are to achieve that feat once again, GSB will need to invest in adding depth to Moyes’ squad, particularly at centre-back, with Adarabioyo a strong candidate.
The 24-year-old has helped Fulham to keep 10 clean sheets in his 33 appearances this term, averaging 3.7 clearances, 1.3 interceptions and 0.9 tackles per game whilst also enjoying an 87% passing accuracy. Moreover, at 6 foot 5, the Englishman is a towering presence at the back, winning 72% of his aerial duels.
Having come through the ranks at Manchester City, the £17k-per-week defender is of good pedigree and will surely be keen to prove himself once again in the top flight, having been relegated with Fulham last season.
Furthermore, at 24, the centre-back is blessed with bags of potential whilst also possibly being available for a cut-price fee due to the aforementioned release clause.
Whilst at Blackburn Rovers, Adarabioyo’s then-teammate Darragh Lenihan was full of praise for the defender, saying: “He’s brilliant. His distribution is excellent, he’s quick, he’s big, he has all the attributes. I’ve said to him that he has all the attributes to play for Manchester City in my opinion.”
After such a strong campaign in the Championship, it’s hardly surprising that Premier League clubs are sniffing around for the Fulham defender, who would certainly seem a shrewd signing for the Hammers.