According to Sky Sports, Fulham are in talks to sign midfielder Callum O’Dowda from Bristol City in a move that would remove any lingering doubts that Leeds United are interested in the 24-year-old.
O’Dowda, a £1.1million capture for current club Bristol City for Oxford United in 2016, has made 89 Sky Bet Championship appearances since his move to Ashton Gate. Yet, it was last season that the 15-cap Ireland international really put down a marker with four goals and five assists in a campaign that opened eyes.
Most wide-open are the eyes belonging to Londoners Fulham who Sky Sports say are “in talks” to land the left-sided midfielder. The Cottagers were relegated from the Premier League last season after a stay of just one campaign. They are in a process of rebuilding and restructuring and obviously see the Oxford-born Irish international as part of that process.
The Robins position is weakened somewhat with O’Dowda in the last year of his current deal, and stalling on signing a new one. Whilst this may ease the door to his exit a little wider, Bristol City isn’t going to roll over and have their stomachs tickled on this one. Rather, they have affixed an £8million valuation on his head and it is a valuation that Fulham is said to be unwilling to meet.
Should a deal progress further, it would also close the door on any lingering hopes or thoughts that Leeds United fans might have that O’Dowda is on his way to Elland Road. The Irishman has been linked to the Whites on a number of occasions the past year, with many thinking he was of a good enough calibre to slot into a Bielsa-led outfit.
Yet, that was before FFP regulations began to pinch the Whites, and before Fulham and their Premier League pockets became involved. With the latter happening, you could say that the door is shut on any further Leeds United interest, and the key is thrown away.
However, things must have progressed over the last day as O’Dowda is pictured out in America with the Robins (below). Thankfully he’s better with his feet than catching a softball!