Crystal Palace captain Luka Milivojevic is reportedly a transfer target for Premier League newcomers Fulham.
The Serbian midfielder has fallen out of favour at Selhurst Park following the arrival of Patrick Vieira as manager last summer, with the Frenchman handing Milivojevic just nine league starts across the campaign. Instead, Vieira has preferred to utilise James McArthur, Chiekhou Kouyate and Will Hughes ahead of him, with the club captain seemingly unable to meet the demands of Palace’s highly-mobile style of play.
Milivojevic arrived in south London in 2017 and has gone on to wrack up 177 appearances in red and blue across five and a half seasons for the club. His most prolific campaign was in 2018/19 when he managed 12 Premier League goals to lead the scoring charts for the club, following on from his ten strikes the previous year.
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He has slowly dropped further out of favour though and was even booed by small sections of Palace fans during the club’s end of season awards night in May before giving a speech. That has opened the door on a potential exit for the Serbian international, who still has a year left remaining on his contract in SE25.
Speaking to the Crystal Palace website about his situation in March, Milivojevic said: “This season is a little bit confused, but I’m very honest with myself. I think I’m doing great in training, giving my best. In the game I played in the cup [vs Hartlepool] I was satisfied with how I did. As the captain of the group, I have to always show always an example, especially in difficult moments, because there are plenty of young guys who can be in a similar situation in the future.
“Honestly, at the moment I haven’t decided what I want. I think soon I will have to start [deciding], but I’m not in a rush. If I want to stay in football I will try to be involved. If I don’t want to stay in football I will try to enjoy life with my family. I have a lot of hobbies, fishing, and a lot of stuff, and want to maybe spend time in Serbia. So we will see. I’m not in a rush and there are plenty of years in front of me.
“I’m very happy at the moment, enjoying playing football, very thankful to God that I’m healthy, in one of the best leagues in the world. We as a club do amazing for the players –the club tries to prepare everything for us and to give us just one thing in our mind: to be the best on the pitch. Everything around us is top class and as a professional football player you can’t ask for more than we get at the moment.”
Fulham, who were promoted back to the Premier League as Championship winners this year, are keen to bolster their squad for the upcoming season in a bid to ensure they don’t suffer what would be a third relegation in as many top-flight seasons. The Whites have recently released midfielder Jean-Michael Seri and allowed Andre Frank Zambo Anguissa to move to Napoli in a permanent deal following a successful loan spell in Italy.
That leaves a hole which manager Marco Silva would like to fill with an experienced player, with the west Londoners reportedly casting their net wide and looking at several players who could come in for the new season. Silva has previously worked with Milivojevic at Olympiacos where the pair won the Greek Superleague together in 2016/16.
If the deal does happen it would also unite Milivojevic with close friend and international teammate Aleksander Mitrovic, who will be out to prove he has what it takes to fire Fulham to safety following an underwhelming season in the top-flight last time out under Scott Parker. Mitrovic responded by breaking the record for the highest-scoring English league season in the current 46 game format by scoring 43 goals in 44 Championship appearances.