Fulham have recently been on an impressive run of form in the Championship under the management of Slaviša Jokanović and have moved to within one point of the play-off places.
However, this has put some of their most influential players back into the spotlight and is causing them to attract interest from the Premier League this month.
One of these players is club captain Tom Cairney who has been one of Fulham's most consistent performers since joining the club in 2015. He played a key part in helping the club secure a play-off spot last season and has been playing well again during this campaign.
Can Fulham fend off Premier League interest?
It has become more and more difficult for Championship sides to fend off interest from the Premier League when top flight clubs come knocking for their star assets. This is because the financial power of those clubs is increasing every year with the gap between the Premier League and the Championship increasing all the time.
The introduction of Financial Fair Play restrictions in the Football League also means it is tempting for many clubs to cash in on their star assets to ensure a period of financial stability.
Norwich City recently sold midfielder Alex Pritchard to Huddersfield Town for a fee of around £14 million. Cairney is a very similar player to Pritchard so it could be argued that his value is around the same amount. For majority of Premier League sides, that is not a significant amount of money to spend on a player but it is a fee that would be too good for majority of Championship sides to turn down.
The two Premier League sides who are reportedly most interested in signing Cairney this month are West Ham United and West Bromwich Albion. The Hammers have reportedly already had a £15 million bid turned down for the midfielder whilst the Baggies are said to have only registered their interest.
Whether Cairney remains at Fulham or not this month could largely be down to what the player personally wants to do. If he decides he wants to leave the club and test himself in the top flight, it would be very difficult for the club to stand in his way.
A key player
The 27-year-old has been a key player for Fulham since arriving at Craven Cottage from Blackburn Rovers in 2015 for a fee of around £3 million. He has flourished under the management of Jokanović and a significant gap would be left in Fulham's side if he was to leave this month.
He has made 18 appearances for the Whites so far this season, scoring just one goal. However, he made 45 appearances in the Championship during the last campaign and found the back of the net 12 times in the process. He certainly has the ability to play in the top flight.
However, due to Fulham's position in the league table, they are now seen by many as strong candidates to win promotion to the Premier League themselves come May. Cairney may be tempted to stay at Craven Cottage and achieve his Premier League dream with the Whites.