Venezia make Maniero available

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VENEZIA have confirmed that they will sell star striker Filippo Maniero, if the price is right, a decision that could alert Fulham.

The Stadio Pierluigi Penzo side are currently rooted to the bottom of Serie A, with relegation more of a certainty than a possibility, and they seem ready to offload a number of players in a bid to reduce the wage bill in preparation for life in the lower leagues.

Maniero has been in sparkling form for the Serie A basement club, netting 10 goals in 15 games, and his efforts have brought admiring glances from Craven Cottage.

Fulham have been trailing the forward for some time, but their initial approaches were rebuffed.

However with relegation looming, it seems that Venezia are ready to do business, with general manager Sergio Gasparin saying: "At a club like ours, all players are available.

"All players can be on the transfer market. If a concrete offer arrives, we will assess it."

Fulham boss Jean Tigana has been continually thwarted in his attempts to sign a forward, with Valencia`s John Carew the latest player to slip through his fingers, and the news that the 27-year-old is available may prompt contact with Venezia.

Cottagers assistant manager Christian Damiano has reiterated they are in the market for a big striker, and at 6ft 1in, Maniero fits the bill.

Damiano said: "We know exactly the profile of this sort of player. He has to attract the defence to prepare another striker to turn around. It's the same with Saha, Marlet or Barry (Hayles), they like to have a target man so they can turn and play.

"Today Marlet was very strong with his head. Heading the ball is a very big part of the game, 70 percent of the balls in the penalty box are in the air so we need a big player."