Babel stay will be difficult - Parker
Scott Parker says it will be tough for Fulham to keep hold of Ryan Babel as the caretaker boss hinted at a summer exit.
Netherlands international Babel joined Fulham in January on a deal until the end of the season and he has made an impact since arriving, scoring four goals from 13 Premier League appearances to sit third in the club's scoring charts this term.
The 32-year-old has made it clear he wants to stay in the top flight next season although with the Cottagers' relegation to the Championship confirmed, a summer exit appears to be inevitable.
A number of clubs are said to be weighing up an offer for the soon-to-be free agent, with Newcastle United boss Rafael Benitez rumoured to eyeing a reunion with the Dutchman, having spent time together at Liverpool.
Parker was quizzed about Babel and although eager to see the forward stay, Fulham's caretaker boss accepts it will be very difficult to persuade him to stay beyond this season.
"He has been fantastic for us and his next move will depend on offers," he said at a press conference. "I completely understand that and won't be holding him back. But we like him a lot and if there's a possibility of signing a player of his calibre, he'd be top of the list."
James Mason grew up in Northumberland so is entrenched in both the football and golf scenes. A low handicap golfer, he also follows Newcastle United and predicts big things under Rafa Benitez.