Fulham close in on Scharner

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The Independent Football

Fulham are in a "strong" position to land Paul Scharner from Wigan, according to the player's agent.

The 29-year-old Austrian is ready to quit the Latics this summer and had been linked with a £6m move to Craven Cottage as well as a move to Sunderland, to be reunited with former Wigan boss Steve Bruce.

New Wigan manager Roberto Martinez has planned to hold talks with Scharner to discuss his future before the start of pre-season training on 6 July.

However, now it seems the Austrian, signed from Brann during January 2006, has decided to move on.

With Aston Villa now said to be "no longer an option", if Scharner were to stay in the Barclays Premier League, then Fulham - who will play in the Europa League next season - appears to be his preferred destination.

Scharner's agent Valentin Hobel declared: "Aston Villa wanted him as a defender and that is why they are no longer an option.

"Fulham are strong at the moment. However, there is still the possibility he could go to Germany with Hamburg.

"He will look at his options very carefully.

"If they can offer concrete figures and everything else all fits into place, then it could happen quickly and all be concluded within a week."