Jol looking for goalkeeper
Fulham manager Martin Jol admits he is in the market for a new goalkeeper, but insists that does not mean that Mark Schwarzer's days at Craven Cottage are numbered.
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Now that his team are more or less assured of survival, Jol has turned his attention to securing the futures of the tried and trusted players who have helped Fulham earn a mid-table berth this year.
Last week Brede Hangeland joined Damien Duff and Philippe Senderos in signing a new deal and the club are now working hard to keep the likes of Mladen Petric and Giorgios Karagounis at Craven Cottage.
The most important member of the squad who is yet to extend his contract beyond the summer, though, is Schwarzer.
The 40-year-old has been in sparkling form this year, but Jol concedes he needs to look at another goalkeeper as David Stockdale and Neil Etheridge are not content to remain as back-up next term.
"I don't deny that we are looking for a goalkeeper," the Fulham manager said.
"There is a lot of speculation in the press. I have a young goalkeeper in Neil Etheridge, he is out on loan and so is David Stockdale.
"He doesn't want to be number two so that could be a little problem, so of course we are always looking for a goalkeeper."
Jol dismissed claims that he has reignited his interested in FC Twente stopper Nikolay Mihaylov, and claimed that although talks have dragged on somewhat, Fulham are confident of extending Schwarzer's contract.
"We are talking to Mark Schwarzer like we did with Brede and the other players," Jol added.
"He is a fantastic goalkeeper so you would have to be very good to fill that space.
"We have made him an offer so we are waiting. If he accepts he will stay, if not we will talk again like we did with Brede.
"We are not talking with Mihaylov. Last year we made an approach, but not this year."
At the other end of the pitch Fulham have also had a star performer in recent weeks in the form of striker Dimitar Berbatov.
Berbatov took his tally to six in his last six games on Monday night as Fulham moved to within one draw of the 40-point mark with a 3-2 win over local rivals QPR.
Jol appears to have pulled off one of the deals of the season by signing the former Tottenham striker on a free from Manchester United last summer, but Dutchman is not concerned that the Bulgarian's scoring exploits will lead to a flurry of offers for the forward this summer.
"Last year I lost Bobby Zamora and then Pavel Pogrebnyak came in and scored a lot so there always is a solution if something happens, but you want to keep your best players," said Jol, who brought the best out of Berbatov during a prolific two-year spell for the Bulgarian at Spurs.
"Dimitar is 32 and I think he is happy here.
"I can see him stopping here for the next two or three years."
Fulham can make their Barclays Premier League status secure on Sunday if they beat Newcastle at St James' Park.
Jol will be without Steve Sidwell for the trip to Tyneside after he failed in his bid to get the midfielder's three-match suspension overturned.
Sidwell saw red for a late tackle on Armand Traore in the second half of Monday's win, but Jol thought the former Chelsea man should have had the decision overturned.
"It's quite a big blow because he was playing well in midfield," Jol added.
"He was playing well with Karagounis, but we will have to come up with a different solution now."