Chris Martin: Fulham insist striker will not return to Derby, despite new contract

Chris Martin
Chris Martin scored 63 goals in 160 appearances over three years at Derby before joining Fulham on loan

Fulham insist on-loan striker Chris Martin will remain at the club and that they retain an option to buy him, despite the player signing a new contract at Derby.

Derby manager Steve McClaren is keen for Martin, 28, to return to the club.

And after signing a new three-and-a-half-year deal on Saturday, Martin said he is "looking forward to playing for Derby as soon as possible".

But Fulham insist it does not affect the season-long loan agreed in August.

The deal to loan Martin to Fulham, which included a £9m option for the Whites to sign the Scot permanently, was struck when Nigel Pearson was in charge at Derby.

"The signing of a new contract with Derby does not impact on the terms of the loan arrangement agreed by both clubs," a Fulham spokesman said.

"Chris Martin will be at Fulham for the remainder of the season and the club still has an option to purchase."

Martin missed three games after making himself unavailable for Fulham's trip to Reading on 30 December - a match that was abandoned at half-time - but has scored twice in three matches since returning to the side, as well as missing two penalties.

He was prolific during McClaren's first spell in charge at Derby, scoring 40 goals in 80 appearances between 2013 and 2015.

But he had failed to score in six games when Pearson allowed him to move to Fulham.

"I know how much Chrissie loves Derby and I am really pleased that he has accepted the offer to extend his deal. I look forward to working with him again once he returns," McClaren said.

Martin said: "I am very happy that the club and the manager see me as part of the long-term future. I am committed to being as successful as I possibly can be with Derby County.

"I enjoyed playing under Steve McClaren in the past and I feel that he got the best out of me, so I look forward to doing so as soon as possible."

Fulham manager Slavisa Jokanovic has previously ruled out the possibility of Martin returning to the east Midlands club.

He said Fulham was "not a train station", adding: "He's going to stay with us and respect the contract.

"I don't know if he will play for Fulham, but I'm sure he's not going to play for Derby."

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