Martin Jol hopeful Brede Hangeland will agree new Fulham contract in next two weeks

Fulham defender out of contract in the summer

Fulham manager Martin Jol hopes Brede Hangeland will finally end speculation about his future by signing a new contract within the next fortnight.

Hangeland has become something of a cult hero among the Fulham support thanks to his all-action displays at the heart of the Cottagers' defence.

The 31-year-old has been an ever-present in the starting line-up since he moved to Craven Cottage five years ago, but he is yet to commit himself to the west London club beyond the end of the season.

Talks about an extension began last year but both parties have so far failed to reach an agreement.

Fulham boss Jol hopes that will change soon, however. He said: "We are talking to quite a few players (about contract extensions).

"He is one of them. It's about him. But we are talking so it's a positive thing and he wants to stay here.

"That's good so there is no news now, but hopefully (there will be) in the next couple of weeks."

Mark Schwarzer, Philippe Senderos and Giorgos Karagounis are three more Fulham regulars who are out of contract next summer, and Jol would like their contracts to be extended too as their top-flight experience will prove vital if, as expected, Fulham avoid relegation.

Given that they are eight points above the drop zone, it would require a big dip in form for Jol's men to get dragged into a relegation battle, but the Dutchman is not taking anything for granted.

"We are ever so pleased to be in this situation, but on the other hand if we stay on 32 points we will be in trouble," said Jol, who takes his team to Sunderland on Saturday.

"If you look at the league over the last five or six years it's always the same situation.

"There are three or four clubs near the bottom but you always see one or two clubs getting dragged in to it and we don't want to be one of those clubs."

Although Jol possesses one of the most dangerous strikers in the league in Dimitar Berbatov, Fulham have struggled at times up front this season.

That could have been different had they beat Sunderland to the signing of Steven Fletcher, who has scored 10 times since his £12million move from Wolves last summer.

Jol concedes the Scot was on his shortlist in the close season.

"Yes (I was interested in Fletcher), but he was quite expensive," the former Tottenham manager said.

"Sunderland are well-known for getting these players in. They did that with Connor Wickham. They paid a lot of money for him. You could say Fletcher is doing well, but why shouldn't he be? He is a terrific number nine."

Jol has almost a clean bill of health for this weekend's trip to the Stadium of Light.

Simon Davies, Kieran Richardson, and Kerim Frei are all available for the game, with long-term absentee Mahamadou Diarra the only absentee from training this week.

Jol said following last weekend's win over Stoke that he feared Diarra might not play again this term, but the Fulham boss sounded more optimistic about the Mali international's fitness today.

"Diarra had a little setback a week ago, but hopefully he will be fine in three weeks," Jol said.

PA

News
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
Sport
Danny Welbeck's Manchester United future is in doubt
footballGunners confirm signing from Manchester United
Sport
footballStriker has moved on loan for the remainder of the season
Sport
footballFeaturing Bart Simpson
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
New Articles
Olivia Colman topped the list of the 30 most influential females in broadcasting
tv
News
Kelly Brook
peopleA spokesperson said the support group was 'extremely disappointed'
News
The five geckos were launched into space to find out about the effects of weightlessness on the creatures’ sex lives
i100
Life and Style
techIf those brochure kitchens look a little too perfect to be true, well, that’s probably because they are
Sport
Andy Murray celebrates a shot while playing Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
TennisWin sets up blockbuster US Open quarter-final against Djokovic
Arts and Entertainment
Hare’s a riddle: Kit Williams with the treasure linked to Masquerade
booksRiddling trilogy could net you $3m
Arts and Entertainment
Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand performs live
music Pro-independence show to take place four days before vote
News
news Video - hailed as 'most original' since Benedict Cumberbatch's
News
i100
Life and Style
The longer David Sedaris had his Fitbit, the further afield his walks took him through the West Sussex countryside
lifeDavid Sedaris: What I learnt from my fitness tracker about the world
Arts and Entertainment
Word master: Self holds up a copy of his novel ‘Umbrella’
booksUnlike 'talented mediocrity' George Orwell, you must approach this writer dictionary in hand
News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

James Frey's literary treasure hunt

Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering