Claudio Ranieri says it would “be fantastic” if Fulham signed Chelsea defender Gary Cahill in January.

Sky Sports News suggest the two clubs have agreed a permanent transfer but agreeing terms with the defender remains a stumbling block, as Claudio Ranieri hinted on Friday.

The Blues are ready to allow Gary Cahill to leave the club this month with the England star having made only seven appearances this season.

The Cottagers boss said: “Gary is a very important player and for us, it would be fantastic. I don’t know if he wants to come and fight with us.”

Fulham spent over £100 million on 12 new players in the summer transfer window but have the worst defensive record in the Premier League and sit 19th in the table.

On Wednesday, the club confirmed the permanent signing of former Liverpool attacker Ryan Babel from Besiktas.

“I hope Ryan can bring his experience, his strength, he is a quality player, some goals because we need goals,” Claudio Ranieri said.

“Of course, I hope he can adapt to our football as soon as possible, but I am happy because he played for Liverpool so he knows the Premier League very well.”

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