Scott Parker gave his thoughts on the future of Ryan Babel in Thursday’s pre-Cardiff City press conference.
The forward has been in sparkling form for Fulham since penning a short-term deal in January, and while Parker knows the Netherlands international will not be short of suitors, he would be very keen to keep him in SW6 if the opportunity arose.
“I totally understand Ryan Babel,” he said. “He’s probably in a similar situation to the one I was in at West Ham. I got relegated at West Ham and was in the fold for England at that time.
“He’s been fantastic for us and I think Ryan stated himself that his next move will depend on offers, and I can totally understand his position, and of course I will not be holding him back in any way.
“At the same time, Ryan Babel is a player who we like a lot. He’s been a massive part – certainly since I’ve been here – of what we’ve been doing.
“If there was an opportunity to sign a player of Ryan Babel’s calibre then he would be top of that list. But at the same time I also understand his situation.”
There must have been something in the water nine months ago as baby news was a prominent theme at Parker’s presser.
“Tom Cairney will come back now that his girlfriend has given birth,” he revealed. “There’s a slight doubt over André Schürrle due to his wife having a baby as well, but [Alfie] Mawson is back in contention. He’s been out for some time so it’s pleasing to have him back.
“He came in over the summer as a big addition to the squad and has struggled a little bit with injuries, but he’s been back now for the last few weeks, played a couple of Under-23 games, so we’re looking forward to getting him involved, hopefully at the weekend.”