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The Arizonan

Marius Niculae linked to Fulham

last updated Sunday 10th June 2001, 10:32 AM
Jean Tigana is trying to make pounds 4m-rated Romanian striker Marius Niculae his next big signing.

The Dinamo Bucharest prospect has banged in six goals in his nine internationals.

The 21 year old Niculae, 6' 1 high, will cost around pounds 4m, a fee recently offered by Turkish giants Galatasaray. His wages are also reasonable as he is only on pounds 600-a-week.

Dinamo will sell after Niculae rejected a 'record' contract of pounds 75,000-a-year. Dinamo are resigned to losing their major asset at the end of the season, despite offering Nicolae improved terms on his existing contract.

The player explained: "I agreed to stay until the end of this season, as I considered that to go abroad last season would be foolish. I was younger then and needed to wait and mature and build up my strength in Romanian football. But now I am ready to play in a big team without being injured so I can succeed.

Niculae is an exciting young prospect both for Dinamo and the Romania national side. He is an athletic striker, very strong, tall and fast who is confident both in the air and on the ground and can score with either foot.

Italian club Lecce, attempted to prize him away from Dinamo in June 1999 for £2 million but he refused the transfer, saying he was too young to go abroad. .

Compared in Romania to Andrei Shevchenko, he is difficult to dispossess he is good at holding the ball up or running at defenders. He has quick reflexes in the box but is not noted for his pace.

Scored on his debut for Dinamo Bucharest at the age of 15 in a 5-2 win over Farul Constanta on 22 November 1996. Also scored on his Romania debut - a 2-0 win over Latvia in February 2000. Scored three goals in his first five internationals for Romania, including a 25-yard free kick in the 2-0 win over South Africa in January 2001.
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