Roma 'keeper Stekelenburg rues missed chance at Fulham switch

Stekelenburg was reportedly called back from the airport in Rome after his move to Fulham was cancelled at the eleventh hour. Photo: PA

Roma goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg has claimed an agreed loan move to Fulham fell through last night when the Serie A club could not find a suitable replacement.

The 30-year-old, who cost Roma six million euros when he left Ajax in 2011, has lost his place to Uruguayan Mauro Goicoechea and stressed his determination to seal a move to the Barclays Premier League before last night's transfer deadline.

The Holland international is represented by the Sport Promotion Consultancy, who claim an agreement was in place between Roma and Fulham for the goalkeeper to spend the rest of the season on loan at Craven Cottage.

Stekelenburg also said he was flying to London when his agent Rob Jansen informed him the move was off because Roma could not agree terms with Fiorentina's Emiliano Viviano.

The keeper told sportpromotion.nl: "This feels like a major setback in many ways. I was really looking forward to getting started at Fulham.

"It is a great club and it would be an understatement to say the league is great too. It is a blow and I will need time to process it."

The former Ajax man has publicly voiced his frustration at losing his place to Goicoechea but refused to hold Roma accountable for last night's events.

"I can't really blame anyone in this situation," he added. "Roma made it clear from the outset that they would only sell me if they could bring in an adequate substitute.

"My agent Rob Jansen and I were informed that the clubs were in agreement with each other.

"We were there in person to meet Fulham so the wait was purely over my replacement in Rome. But they didn't find one and that's the reality.

"My first challenge is getting my place back at Roma, then we'll see how things stand in the summer."

Fulham manager Martin Jol was busy tying up loan moves for three players last night, but he denied a deal had been in place for Stekelenburg.

The Dutch boss added AC Milan's utility man Urby Emanuelson and PSV Eindhoven right-back Stanislav Manolev to his ranks, with both signing until the end of the season, before adding Ajax midfielder Eyong Enoh on a similar deal with 20 minutes to spare.

Jol remained coy when questioned about the Roma keeper before tomorrow's Barclays Premier League meeting with Manchester United at Craven Cottage.

He told Press Association Sport: "We had a lot of things but I was not there, I was doing another deal with [Tottenham midfielder] Tom Huddlestone - he was a priority for us with Enoh.

"Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose but I had another target from Holland, [PSV's Przemyslaw] Tyton because I needed a second goalkeeper.

"But we certainly didn't want to spend money on goalkeepers and I think Stekelenburg would have been a lot - four, five or six million. As I say, it was not a priority."