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Roma losing grip on Champs League place

AS Roma
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Fulham close in on starlet Burn

Fulham are leading the chase to sign highly-rated defender Dan Burn, who was excused from Darlington's squad this weekend so he could meet with the London club.

• Blog: Fulham vanishing act

Everton, Chelsea and Manchester City have all been linked with Burn, 18, but Fulham have stolen a march on their rivals after putting the youngster through a medical.

The Conference club are hoping for a fee of around £260,000 for their starlet.

Fulham signed Chris Smalling from Isthmian League Premier Division side Maidstone United in a similar deal in June 2008 and sold him to Manchester United for £12 million in January 2010.

Darlington manager Mark Cooper said: "There's a lot of interest in him [Burn]. He's been down to Fulham, who are very keen on him, and there are other clubs that are also very keen on him.

"There are loads of clubs after him, everybody wants him, and rightly so. Whoever gets him will do so at the end of the season.

"For me it's important that he goes to the right club, a club that will look after him and fulfil his potential. It's not a piece of meat that we're selling."

Although Burn cannot play for another club until next season, there is a chance Quakers could agree to sell him before the completion of the campaign.

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