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Fulham hold talks with Ajax over manager Martin Jol

Martin Jol
Jol was replaced by Juande Ramos at Tottenham in 2007

By David Ornstein

Fulham are holding talks with Ajax in an attempt to negotiate a deal to allow Martin Jol to become their new manager after agreeing terms with the Dutchman.

Jol has told Ajax he wants to take charge at Fulham but the Dutch club had been loathe to agree compensation.

But BBC Sport understands Fulham chief executive Alistair Mackintosh is now meeting Ajax officials in Amsterdam.

And having agreed personal terms with the former Spurs boss, Fulham are now hoping to secure Jol's release by Ajax.

The Dutch club's general manager Rik van den Boog returned from holiday in Italy to meet Mackintosh.

Fulham have been without a manager since Roy Hodgson joined Liverpool on 1 July.

Ray Lewington was placed in temporary charge and remained at the helm as last season's Europa League runners-up departed for their pre-season tour to Sweden on Monday.

They had hoped to unveil Jol before Thursday's friendly against Halmstads, but that will now depend on the outcome of Wednesday's meeting.

It was reported earlier on Tuesday that Jol, having indicated his desire to return to the Premier League following talks with Mackintosh, had performed a U-turn.

He was said to have had second thoughts after Ajax bowed to his demands on keeping hold of star players and providing funds for new signings.

Jol had been told he was not able to make summer acquisitions until right-back Gregory van der Wiel and striker Luis Suarez had departed to free up finances.

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He was angered by the release of striker Marko Pantelic and winger Dennis Rommedahl and there were also suggestions that Dutch international goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg could leave the Amsterdam Arena.

"We need to strengthen the squad - everyone knows this - but there's no money," said Jol after Ajax's friendly against Rijnsburgse Boys on Tuesday.

"We have lost some good players and no-one is coming in. I fear for the future of Ajax in this position.

"Ajax know about the offer from Fulham. In the past I have had other offers that no-one knows about. Now in England it is public, but that's not my fault."

When Jol quit Hamburg for Ajax in 2009 he made it his main mission to win the Eredivisie title for the first time since 2004 and brought in a number of his own staff, so he is thought to feel a responsibility to the four-time European champions.

Roy Hodgson
Fulham have been managerless since Roy Hodgson left for Liverpool

Fulham owner Mohamed Al Fayed is reported to have offered Jol, who was sacked by Spurs in 2007 and still owns a house near London, a rolling contract, a bonus-related salary and a significant transfer budget to succeed Hodgson.

Ivory Coast coach Sven-Goran Eriksson had also been linked with the vacancy at Craven Cottage.

United States coach Bob Bradley and Switzerland's Ottmar Hitzfeld were other names in the running.

Eriksson is thought to have held talks with Fulham but the Swede revealed last week that he was considering a lucrative offer to stay on as Ivory Coast head coach.

Hitzfeld then ruled himself out of contention and a statement from the United States Soccer Federation outlined its intention to extend Bradley's contract.

Although Fulham reached the Europa League final in May, Ajax will be playing Champions League football in September providing they come through qualifying.

They were pipped to the Dutch league title last season by FC Twente, who were managed by former England boss Steve McClaren.



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see also
Clark denies Fulham boss approach
05 Jul 10 |  Huddersfield
Hodgson named new Liverpool boss
01 Jul 10 |  Liverpool
No talks with Fulham - Eriksson
30 Jun 10 |  Fulham
Jol named new head coach at Ajax
26 May 09 |  Europe


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