(Picture: Action Images via Reuters)
Fulham captain Tom Cairney has committed his long-term future to the club by signing a contract extension that will keep him in west London until 2021.
The mercurial midfielder, 26, enjoyed a stunning 2016-17 season, scoring 12 goals and recording 10 assists to be the only player in the Championship to reach double figures in both departments.
That brilliant form nearly led Fulham to the Premier League, before the Cottagers lost to Reading in the play-offs, and attracted admiring glances from the likes of Newcastle and Brighton, but his new deal, with the option of an additional 12 months, expels any rumours that Cairney could leave.
With promotion the main aim for the upcoming season, the captain’s new contract is a boost for Fulham fans and hierarchy alike, and boss Slavisa Jokanovic said: “This is great news for the Club.
“Tom was deservedly named in the PFA Team of the Year and his performances as Fulham captain last season saw him receive a lot of praise.
“He has been a big player for us, and I’m sure that if he keeps working as he has been he will continue to be next season and for the next few years.”
Meanwhile, Jokanovic has bolstered his squad with the signing of defender Marcelo Djalo from Spanish second division side Club Deportivo Lugo for an undisclosed fee.
The 23-year-old, who came through the youth set-up at Real Madrid, has signed a three-year deal and told the club website: “The truth is, for me it is a proud moment. It’s a big club, an emblem of the city, and for me it’s a proud moment.
“Quite simply, I want to be here, I want to work here, I want to grow as a person and a footballer at this great club.”