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The Guardian claims that, despite Arsenal closing in on a deal for the Ajax centre back Thomas Vermaelen, Brede Hangeland still remains a transfer target for Arsene Wenger.

The paper’s report offers no new information from the usual tittle-tattle that has linked Hangeland, so impressive last season, with a move away from Craven Cottage. They insist that Wenger remains keen on signing the Norway captain but Fulham will play hardball, holding out for a new club record fee, eclipsing the £12.8m Manchester United paid for Louis Saha in January 2004.

The Whites are still confident that Hangeland will sign a contract extension after encouraging close-season negotiations.