Mousa Dembele happy to remain at Fulham despite transfer speculation

 

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The Independent Football

Mousa Dembele has no intention of leaving Fulham this summer as he wants to continue playing for manager Martin Jol.

The 24-year-old has become an increasingly important player for the west Londoners since joining the club from Dutch outfit AZ Alkmaar two years ago.

Dembele, who has a year left to run on his contract, was particularly impressive for the Cottagers last season, leading to speculation that he could leave in the summer.

Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham have all reportedly shown interest in the Belgium international, who insists he has no plans to go anywhere - thanks in no small part to Jol.

"I'm very happy to stay at Fulham, especially because of the boss," he told the Fulham Chronicle.

"I think it's very important to have the backing of the manager and he's a coach who gives me a lot of confidence - that's why I feel I owe it to the gaffer as well.

"I think every player needs that and I'm no different. I go to training every day and work with joy. It's a fantastic club and I'm not in a hurry to move anywhere."

Dembele has been converted from a forward into a central midfielder by Jol this season and it is a role he is enjoying.

"I'm very happy with the change this year in the position I play because I'm a player who likes to have the ball as much as possible - and that is down to the manager as well," he said.

"I think I can hold the ball very well - and it's an advantage to the team if I have a lot of the ball, so I like that position a lot.

"I'm also very happy with the way the season went. The club is doing very well and we have a very strong team with good players.

"Next year, everybody wants to do even better. I'm not sure what will be our target next season, because in a way it's the club and manager who decide.

"I don't know if it is realistic to try for fourth or fifth or sixth, but I think we should look to do even better than this season and last.

"Maybe we will have more energy because we don't play in Europe this season and we can concentrate on the league."

Dembele is not the only Fulham midfielder to have reaffirmed his commitment to the club.

Pajtim Kasami joined from Palermo last summer but featured just 17 times for the Whites and made only two appearances in 2012.

The Switzerland Under-21 international was subject of interest from Juventus in January but stayed at Craven Cottage, where he hopes to make an impression next season.

"At the beginning of the season it was quite difficult being in a new team, in a new country, and playing in a new league," he told the club's official website, www.fulhamfc.com.

"But I felt like I adapted quickly to English football so the first part of the season went very well for me.

"The second half of the season didn't go so well.

"I'm not sad but I'm a little bit disappointed in myself and the only thing I can do is look forward to the next season."

PA

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