Scott Parker wanted by Bournemouth as Fulham exit looms for manager

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<span>Photograph: Matthew Childs/Reuters</span>
Photograph: Matthew Childs/Reuters

Bournemouth are lining up a move to appoint Scott Parker, who is close to leaving his post as Fulham’s manager.

Parker’s two-year spell at Fulham is expected to end following relegation from the Premier League and Bournemouth have placed the 40-year-old top of their shortlist as they search for a manager.

The former England midfielder’s future at Craven Cottage has been in doubt since the end of the season. Parker, initially appointed by Fulham on a caretaker basis in February 2019, has not seen eye to eye with Fulham’s board over their plans for the future and it is understood that he is interested in taking over at the Vitality Stadium.

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It is unlikely that Bournemouth will find it hard to complete a deal with Parker, who built a good reputation during his time at Fulham. The south-coast club will wait before Parker’s departure from Fulham is confirmed before formalising their interest.

Bournemouth, relegated from the Premier League in 2020, are preparing for another season in the Championship after failing to make it through the play-offs. They made Jonathan Woodgate their head coach on an interim basis until the end of the season after sacking Jason Tindall in February. Woodgate has yet to leave his role but Bournemouth want Parker to lead a promotion push.

Although Parker could not stop the Fulham from falling out of the Premier League in 2019, he secured promotion via the play-offs during his first full season.

Fulham’s second relegation in three years will not deter Bournemouth from pursuing Parker. Their view is that he did a good job in difficult circumstances. Although Fulham lacked enough quality to stay in the Premier League, they often played enterprising football.

Gary O’Neil, the former Portsmouth midfielder who is now Bournemouth’s first-team coach, is highly rated at the club and expected to stay following any reshuffle.

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