Hangeland expects to stay at Fulham

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The Independent Football

Highly-rated Fulham centre-half Brede Hangeland has again played down speculation he is set to quite Craven Cottage.

The 28-year-old defender has been linked with Arsenal, Aston Villa and Manchester City after a number of impressive seasons with the west London club.

The Norway international has been a long-term target for Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger, but recent speculation has put Villa and City among the favourites.

However, when asked if he expected to be at Craven Cottage next season, he told Norwegian paper Aftenbladet: "I believe so. It looks that way."

Reports on Monday suggested that Hangeland had rejected an offer to double his wages from the club.

And, although he has hinted that he is eager to secure a better deal, he has reiterated that he is keen to commit his long-term future to the Cottagers.

"I'm very happy at Fulham and would like a new contract, but then we must agree on something that both parties can be satisfied with," he told TV 2 Sporten.

Meanwhile Fulham goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer cut his holiday short to rejoin his Fulham team-mates for training on their pre-season tour in Australia.

Fulham take on Gold Coast United tomorrow night as they get ready to participate in the newly formed Europa League.

"Pre-season is always important, regardless of whether you're playing in something like the Europa League, or if you're just getting ready for the regular season," said Schwarzer.

"It's always vital to get off to a good start as that can really set your season up well.

"You don't want to lose against anyone, no matter who it is. But you have to take the game in context. It is our first game for a while and some of the guys have only been training a week. So it's going to be a good test."