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
  • Get to the point
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

Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

The secret CIA Starbucks

The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

One million Britons using food banks

Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

How to run a restaurant

As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Usher, Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert

The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
10 best tote bags

Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

Paul Scholes column

I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England
Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

The heptathlete has gone from the toast of the nation to being a sleep-deprived mum - but she’s ready to compete again. She just doesn't know how well she'll do...