Fulham have been dealt a blow in their bid to bring Matt Grimes to Craven Cottage this summer.

What’s the talk?

That’s according to a report by Football Insider, who claim that both Watford and Brighton & Hove Albion have joined the race to sign the Swansea City midfielder ahead of the new season.

It was previously reported that Fulham looked close to securing a deal for the 25-year-old, with a medical at Craven Cottage having been scheduled for this week.

It is also claimed that Southampton and Newcastle United are thought to be keeping a close eye on the situation of the former England U21 international, who would be available to sign for as little as £1.5m due to having just one year remaining on his contract at the Liberty Stadium.

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Silva will be gutted

Considering just how close Tony Khan appeared to be to securing the signing of Grimes this summer, should the midfielder eventually go on to seal a move elsewhere, it would undoubtedly leave Marco Silva gutted.

The 25-year-old has played a key role in Swansea City’s Championship success in recent years, and would have made a fantastic addition to the Portuguese manager’s options in the middle of the park next season.

Indeed, over his 45 Championship appearances for the Swans last term, the £6.3m-rated man scored two goals, registered three assists and created three big chances for his teammates, as well as taking an average of one shot and making 0.8 key passes per game.

The £10k-per-week midfielder also made an average of 1.5 interceptions, 2.1 tackles, 1.3 clearances and won 5.3 duels in each league appearance.

These metrics saw the man Steve Cooper dubbed an “excellent” player earn an average SofaScore match rating of 7.04, ranking him as the club’s fifth-best performer in the English second tier.

As such, with Grimes demonstrating that he is something of a complete midfielder, his signing would have given Silva a huge boost to his chances of going on to secure an immediate return to the Premier League with Fulham next season.

However, with Watford and Brighton now sniffing around the 25-year-old, Grimes may well be playing Premier League football a lot sooner than the Cottagers.

In other news: Khan must axe Fulham’s “fabulous” £35k-p/w flop, he’s stealing a living





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