Fulham manager Mark Hughes has re-iterated his belief that goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer will sign a new contract at the club.
Schwarzer handed in a transfer request this summer as he attempted to force through a move to Arsenal, who had a £2million bid for the 38-year-old rejected in August.
The Australian, whose current deal expires next summer, said this week that he did not know if he was going to remain at the club in January and admitted he had “pushed hard” for a transfer to the Gunners.
Hughes insists he is not worried about the former Sydney-born star’s comments and hopes a deal to keep the stopper at Craven Cottage beyond the summer will be concluded soon.
When asked about Schwarzer’s comments, Hughes said: “Mark is just stating what went on. We’re hopeful he will commit to Fulham very soon.
“We have had some good talks with his advisor. He knows my thoughts, I want him to stay.”
Hughes is likely to be without Schwarzer for the whole of January when he will be in Qatar for Australia’s Asia Cup campaign.
The Welshman, who will turn to rookie ‘keeper David Stockdale in Schwarzer’s absence, admits losing his number one in such a key period of the season will be a big blow but concedes there is little he can do about it.
“From our point of view we will look at it purely selfishly and we will lose an important player,” Hughes continued.
“Mark is a proud Australian and we would never try to stop him. We can’t anyway. These fixtures have to take place sometime.”