(Reuters) – Fulham’s teenage sensation Ryan Sessegnon will remain at Craven Cottage next season despite being linked with a move to a top-six Premier League outfit, according to club owner Shahid Khan.
Sessegnon has earned rave reviews for his performances this season which helped drive the club’s promotion to the Premiership, with British media linking the winger with Manchester United, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur.
But Khan said Fulham’s 1-0 victory over Aston Villa in the Championship playoff means the 18-year-old winger can grace the Premier League in a white Fulham shirt next season.
“We don’t want Sessegnon leaving,” Khan told The Times. “I don’t think he wants to go. He’s going to be at Fulham for the coming year, leading us into the Premier League.
“Frankly, if we had not been promoted, well, we have a responsibility to our players,” Khan was quoted saying. “He’s been there since he was eight. We want to do the right thing for him and he is Fulham through and through. He is going to be there next season.”
Sessegnon lit up the Championship with 16 goals and eight assists, becoming the first player outside the top flight to be named on the shortlist for the Professional Footballers’ Association’s Young Player of the Year award.
Khan has not ruled out the possibility of accepting a huge offer but only with a clause that allows Sessegnon to continue his development in west London next season.
“If a club pays a ridiculous fee (for Sessegnon) he’s not going to be breaking into their starting XI so he will be at Fulham next year; what the terms are I don’t know,” Khan added.
“Nobody knows — we’ve not even stopped celebrating. I can tell you with certainty he’s going to be at Fulham because it’s good for him and good for us. We want him to stay, period.”
(Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by David Holmes)