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

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
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

Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific