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Fulham inquire about defender

last updated Wednesday 24th May 2006, 7:53 PM
Gaby Zakuani
Gabriel Zakuani
Position Defender
DOB 31/05/1986
P.O.B. Zaire
Height 6'1"
Club Leyton Orient

ORIENT manager Martin Ling admitted this week that he could face a fight to hang on to highly-rated defender Gaby Zakuani.

Premiership side Fulham have been monitoring Zakuani for some time and have made an inquiry and Ling knows that if the price is right, the defender will be on his way.

The O's boss admitted on Tuesday: "Yes, it's true there is some interest from Fulham at the moment. But I would love to keep Gaby here."

Following promotion, O's chairman Barry Hearn has no need to sell one of the club's prized assets and it's likely that Ling's side, heading for League One next August, will slap a £1m price tag on Zakuani.

"Make no mistake, I would rather Gaby stay with us, because we think we are on a roll and we can go places.

"But if someone was to come in with a substantial offer, then there is no way we could turn it down," added the O's chief.

Gabriel made his first team debut at the end of the 2002/03 season when he made a late substitute appearance at Bournemouth as a 16 year-old.

It was a measure of the progress the young centre-half had made, and that was proven by the way he established himself in the side from November 2003 - even managing to score in two successive matches!

Born in the Congo, Gaby came to England when his father's work as a translator saw the family move to London in 1992.

A powerful and clever centre-half, Gaby is composed in possession and dominant in the air, as well as a leader on the pitch - a role he learned as youth team captain.

Over the opening weeks of the season, he took his chance in the first-team with both hands and established himself as a regular and was rewarded with a professional contract until the summer of 2007, which he signed in September 2004.

source: Leyton Orient

Source Trevor Davies at Barking and Dagenham Recorder
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