Officially relegated back down to the Championship, Fulham’s spending spree both last summer and in January failed to secure their spot in England’s top tier for more than a season.

One of their priorities in the January transfer window was a centre-back, leaving everything very late, which led to some rather interesting names being mentioned as potential targets.

Alongside Michael Ngadeu Ngadjui, who never signed, was Club Brugge’s Benoit Poulain, who also failed to secure a transfer to Craven Cottage after his club blocked his exit.

Fulham reportedly made three separate bids for the French defender, all turned away by the Belgian club who wanted to ensure their team remained as strong as possible as they attempted to mount a title challenge this season.

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This, according to Sport/Foot this week, left the 31-year-old ‘disappointed’, seeing an ‘exceptional transfer and salary’ (rumoured to be €2m/year) pass him by.

Reaching the back end of his career, Poulain will have wanted a chance to prove himself at the highest of levels, and has only featured four times for his side since January.

Even if Fulham did fail to stay up, this likely was the opportunity of a lifetime for the Frenchman, and one he probably won’t see come his way again