Chris Martin: Fulham will keep on-loan Derby striker, says boss Slavisa Jokanovic

Chris Martin
Chris Martin scored one goal and set up another on his return to Fulham's starting XI after missing three games

Fulham boss Slavisa Jokanovic is sure striker Chris Martin will remain for the rest of the season despite parent club Derby wanting to recall him.

Martin, 28, has scored eight goals in 18 Championship games since joining the Whites on loan in September, in a deal which has no release clause.

"The situation with Chris Martin is over," Jokanovic told BBC Radio London.

"I bought a flat in Putney 15 years ago and then sold it. I can't ask for it back now, because it is impossible."

The Serb added: "This country is very famous for contracts. Everything is on paper and really clear."

Martin was allowed to leave Pride Park to join Fulham, with a view to a permanent deal, by former Rams boss Nigel Pearson.

Steve McClaren was reappointed by Derby in October and is keen to bring the Scotland international, who scored 43 goals in less than two seasons during McClaren's first spell in charge, back to the East Midlands.

Martin made himself unavailable for Fulham's trip to Reading on 30 December - a match that was subsequently abandoned - and then missed the defeat by Brighton on 2 January and the FA Cup victory against Cardiff on 8 January.

Jokanovic made clear he would keep Martin in west London, stating Fulham were "not a train station".

He returned to the starting line-up against Barnsley on Saturday, scoring one goal from the penalty spot and setting up the other in a 2-0 home win over the Tykes.

"Chris is a very important part of my squad," Jokanovic, 48, added.

"Our supporters know my opinion about him. He is focused to help us and he is working well."

McClaren added to his attacking options this month with the signing of David Nugent from Middlesbrough, but the former England manager is keen to strengthen his squad as County, like Fulham, target a place in the play-offs.

"We would like him back but it is not possible because there is no release clause in January," McClaren told BBC Radio Derby.

"Fulham, quite rightly, want to keep him as he is a damn good player and he's proven it for Fulham.

"There are still two weeks to go but we'll have to soldier on and Chris has to play for Fulham. There is still time and we still want him back, but it is out of my hands."

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