Smertin hopes for Fulham deal
By Slava Zaitsev. Last Updated: January 1, 1970 1:00am
Alexei Smertin is hoping he can soon finalise his move to Fulham.
The Russian midfielder has been locked in talks with The Cottagers for a number of weeks after his club Dinamo Moscow told him he could leave.
West Ham and Charlton also made moves, but Smertin confirmed that Fulham were his preferred destination.
With Papa Bouba Diop looking likely to move to Wigan this week, Smertin's signing would look more like a priority for manager Chris Coleman.
"It wasn't my decision to leave Dinamo. My club informed me that they aren't interested in me anymore," Smertin revealed.
"My agent started to work and we got offers from Charlton Athletic, West Ham and Fulham.
"At the moment only Fulham's interest is continuing."
Smertin insists that finances are not a motive in any move.
"Money isn't the reason," he said. "Everyone knows that only the best European clubs can pay more than the best Russian teams like Dinamo or Zenit.
"Fulham's offer is suitable for Dinamo and for me."
Smertin's agent Paulo Barbosa confirmed that they hoped talks would soon be finalised for the move to Fulham.
"We had hard negotiations with Dinamo. Firstly we got interest from Charlton, West Ham and Fulham. Now we are negotiating only with Fulham," Barbosa told Soviet Sports.
"Fulham's offer is interesting for Alexei. This is a London club from the middle of the table.
"Starting from our negotiations with Dinamo this is the best variant, although there is a small possibility still that Smertin will stay in Dinamo.
"Alexei's future will be known in two to three weeks."