Cottagers are battling Newcastle for the 28-year-old’s signature.
Fulham are hoping to move ahead in the race for Darren Bent by submitting an improved bid for Aston Villa striker.
The west London club look certain to move into pole position to sign the 29-year-old after Newcastle, who were also interested, opted to focus their efforts on tying up a loan deal for QPR forward Loic Remy.
Cottagers boss Martin Jol is keen to provide Dimitar Berbatov with a partner up front next season and has already seen two bids – the second thought to be around £4 million – rejected by Villa but is expected to return with a third, the Independent claim.
They’re now prepared to up their offer to £5m to bring Bent to Craven Cottage and make him the first buy of the Shahid Khan era, following the billionaire car-parts manufacturer’s takeover from Mohamed Al Fayed in July.
It’s understood Villa are still holding out for £6m for a player they signed for a club record fee of £18m rising to £24m with add-ons two years ago but are keen to sell after falling out of favour under Paul Lambert last season.
Bent is also anxious to leave the west Midlands club in search of regular playing time as he harbous ambitions of working his way back into Roy Hodgson’s England squad in time for the World Cup in Brazil next year.