FULHAM forward Fabio Carvalho has been linked with a move to Saints after starting life in the Championship on fire.

The 19-year-old, who operates in an advanced attacking midfield or striking role, hit three goals and registered an assist in his first four games of the season and is yet to taste defeat, making a fifth appearance before a toe injury has ruled him out since.

Born in Lisbon, Portugal, Carvalho used to play for Benfica’s youth system before eventually ending up at the Cottagers, where he then became an England under-16, 17 and 18 international.

Supporters may remember that he actually scored a consolation against Saints in only his second-ever Premier League appearance towards the end of last season, on his first start in the top-flight.

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The issue for Fulham is that the prodigy’s contract is set to expire at the end of June 2022, meaning he could move to another club for only a compensation fee similar to that of Thierry Small’s Everton-to-Saints switch.

Daily Echo: Fabio Carvalho scored his first Premier League goal at St Mary's last season (Pic: PA)Fabio Carvalho scored his first Premier League goal at St Mary's last season (Pic: PA)

TeamTalk are claiming that Ralph Hasenhuttl has been keeping tabs on the youngster for a number of months with a potential view to bring him to St Mary’s, adding firepower to a currently faltering attack.

To add, the B team also need goals so it could be a holistic move – although it’s likely that Carvalho would view the immediate impact of Tino Livramento as inspiration, while Armando Broja’s loan from Chelsea will end after this campaign meaning he could be a direct replacement in the first-team.

Fulham manager Marco Silva is understandably keen to keep the starlet at the club, in order to partner him with already proven Championship goalscorer Aleksander Mitrovic.

On the 19-year-old’s future, he was tight-lipped but said: "That is something for inside our football club. I won't be updating at each step. We will only say something when we have something official."

Daily Echo: After picking up 13/15 points when he played, they've only mustered 7/18 without him (Pic: PA)After picking up 13/15 points when he played, they've only mustered 7/18 without him (Pic: PA)

Silva continued: "Fabio is the same as at the beginning of the season. He is the same boy, a young player hungry to play and happy to work at Fulham every single day.

"All the speculation is for him, of course with my and our support, to deal with because he's a professional player. If there is speculation around him, that means that he's doing something well that provoked this speculation.

"I don't know what's happening off the training ground on a daily basis, with those advising him, but I hope everyone stays on the same page and that everyone really advises him in the right way - because he's a young player who deserves and needs it, and who we are supporting."

He is the third forward that Saints have been linked to in recent weeks, following Hull City’s £12million rated Keane Lewis-Potter and Celtic’s Japanese Kyogo Furuhashi, 26.