Fulham boss Claudio Ranieri would happily welcome back suspended striker Aboubakar Kamara following the outcome of a club investigation.

Frenchman Kamara has been banned indefinitely by the Cottagers pending internal disciplinary proceedings due to a training ground incident.

Police were called to Motspur Park last week, with the 23-year-old Kamara arrested on suspicion of actual bodily harm and criminal damage following a fight.

Ranieri confirmed the player is unavailable for selection ahead of Tuesday’s Premier League clash with Brighton but insists he is ready to forgive and forget.

“I don’t know what happened here, now there is a club investigation and I am waiting,” said Ranieri.

“But if he comes back, for me there is no problem, for the team there is no problem.

“In this moment he is suspended from the club.

“The players are very, very easy. If he comes back, nothing happened for me, and also for his team-mates.”

Last week’s incident was the latest controversy in which Kamara, who was signed from Amiens in July 2017, has been involved.

Earlier this month, he was also allegedly involved in another fight with his team-mate Aleksandar Mitrovic, which took place during a team yoga session.

Ranieri said he had wanted to “kill” Kamara and accused him of lacking respect in December after the player ignored instructions by taking and missing a penalty in the victory over Huddersfield.

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While the Italian coach awaits the verdict on one of his current strikers, he paid a heartfelt tribute to a former one, Emiliano Sala.

Cardiff striker Sala, who went missing last week during a flight from France to Wales, was managed by Ranieri at French club Nantes.

“I want to call Nantes to understand better what I can do,” said Ranieri.

“Emiliano was a fantastic boy, a player who put his head where the others don’t put their foot, their leg.

“For me it was very, very sad and I imagine for his family, everybody.

“What can we do? Nothing. Just a prayer for him and his family.”

Fulham welcome Brighton to Craven Cottage in a perilous position, second from bottom and seven points adrift of safety.

Ranieri, who replaced the sacked Slavisa Jokanovic in November, believes the situation can only improve and admits the Seagulls game is must-win.

“It’s crucial for us. We have to win and we have to make the maximum effort,” he said.

“The battle is hard, now we are relegated, we can only improve. Worse than this, is not possible.

“I’m a positive man. I know it’s a hard job but it was hard when I came, it’s harder now. We have to try to fight until the end.”

Ranieri has been linked with a move for out-of-favour Chelsea centre-back Gary Cahill as he attempts to improve his porous defence ahead of Thursday’s transfer deadline.

He says the Cottagers, who spent heavily last summer, are working hard to recruit reinforcements.

“I don’t know if Cahill is on our list, of course we have an alternative and I’m sure the club will try to do the best for the team,” said the 67-year-old.

“We are looking, if there will be some good opportunities we are ready.”

Press Association


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