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Marco Silva says it has been ‘difficult’ to tempt Fabio Carvalho to sign new Fulham contract amid Liverpool interest

MARCO SILVA revealed it has been “difficult” to encourage Fabio Carvalho to sign a new contract at Fulham amid increased interest from Liverpool. 

But the Cottagers boss is confident the Portuguese whizkid, 19, will stay put this month despite the Reds being keen to hash out a January deal. 

Fulham whizkid Fabio Carvalho, 19, has attracted the attention of Liverpool, West Ham and Southampton

Carvalho, on seven goals and two assists this term, rejected an extension in November and will be a free agent when his deal expires at the end of the campaign.

Silva said: “Fab will be with us until the end of the season. 

“I would like, except is not the right word, I would like to see him play for us at Fulham football club. 

“I will not lie, it has been difficult for us to renew. 

“Of course we are trying to do our best but it has been difficult. When you have a player of this talent and at this level last year of contract it is difficult to keep him with contract. 

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“Without a contract it is even worse. What I can tell you right now is that Fabio will be with us until the end of the season.”

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Silva, who arrived at Craven Cottage at the start of the season, says he has been committed to keeping Carvalho in West London since the day he arrived.

The ex-Watford and Everton gaffer added: “I tried to (convince him to stay) from the first day I arrived at this football club.

“Last season for Fabio wasn’t easy, maybe he had expectations to play or to be involved in the football matches of the first team.

“But the season since I arrived, I realised the quality that he has, the talent he has and we gave him the chance and of course he is performing really well.

“It’s not a surprise for me that many clubs have an interest in Fabio because we’re talking about a huge talent and I tried to keep him with us from the first day.”

Fulham are wary of furious fan reaction over selling their prized asset, especially following 16-year-old Harvey Elliot’s switch to Anfield in 2019. 

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Fulham wanted up to £7m for Elliot but were only awarded an initial £1.5m compensation fee.

Super-agent Jorge Mendes is now representing Carvalho but Fulham haven’t given up hope of convincing him to stay and play in the Premier League with them next season. 

The Whites are, however, already lining up potential replacements for the whizkid if he decides to leave in the summer, with U23s Welsh midfielder Luke Harris,16, tipped as the club’s next teenage star.

 Read our Transfer News Live blog for the very latest rumours, gossip and done deals

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