New Fulham boss Meulensteen targets January signings

The new manager of Fulham, Rene Meulensteen, has said the Cottagers need to make signings in the forthcoming January transfer window in order to safeguard their Premier League status, BBC Sport has reported.

Meulensteen was appointed in place of Martin Jol on Sunday, 24 hours after Fulham fell to a fifth straight league defeat. A 3-0 reverse at West Ham proved to be the last straw for Fulham owner Shahid Khan, who placed Meulensteen in charge three weeks after the former Manchester United coach as hired to assist Jol.

Responding to suggestions he was always in line to replace Jol, Meulensteen said: “People can think what they want, but it definitely was not the case that I came in to take over.

The reason I came was to work alongside Martin Jol,” Meulensteen added. “We were trying to take Fulham to the next step. I spoke to Martin straight away [after he was sacked]. We had a long conversation, for maybe 30 minutes. There are no hard feelings between him and myself. We have known each other for more than 25 years.

On the subject of Fulham’s relegation battle – with the London club in the bottom three, three points from safety – Meulensteen insisted it would take a busy winter transfer window to halt the slide towards the Championship. “Everyone needs to realise we must invest,” he said. “ We need to look how we can strengthen this squad to ensure Fulham stay in the Premier League.

Fulham have been a Premier League team since Jean Tigana oversaw promotion from the then-First Division at the end of the 2000-01 season. It was the club’s third promotion in five seasons after a rise from the very bottom of the league system, funded by former owner Mohamed Al-Fayed, who sold the club to Khan in summer 2013.

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