Fulham captain Danny Murphy has urged Jimmy Bullard to stay at the club with the midfielder’s future once again under the spotlight.

The Cottagers have told Bullard he can leave Craven Cottage in the January transfer window despite having 18 months left to run on his current contract.

Bullard opened the scoring in Fulham’s 3-0 win over Middlesbrough on Saturday and Murphy, who also scored from the penalty spot, hopes the midfielder can reach an agreement with the club.

“I’ve a simple philosophy on it which is you want to keep this squad,” said Murphy. “It’s the best we’ve had since I’ve been here and the best Fulham have had in a long time.

“There’s no way we want to see any of our good players leave. As players, you can only do your own job to a degree and can only have so much input into situations.

“I hope Jimmy can sort it out because we know what his qualities are and know he’s a great asset on the pitch.

“In negotiations you have to find a balance to what he wants and his security, but his performances are tremendous.

“He makes things happen and he’s infectious. He has a good effect on the players around him.”

Bullard has become a fans favourite at Fulham since his £2.5million move from Wigan in the summer of 2006 and Murphy insists his character would be missed should he leave the Cottagers.

“I think the squad is looking so much stronger than it has in the past and he’s an integral part of that,” added Murphy.

“He’s a friend, so I want him to stay, he’s a top player. But like any situation, if a bigger club came calling I can’t say he’d definitely stay as everyone has ambitions.

“He has that infectious character, that nature in his game, athleticism, energy and Jimmy brings that to our game.

“He’s right-wing one minute, left-back the next, it’s how he plays the game. When it’s a bit dull or flat, he tries to make things happen.”