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Fulham boss Hughes knows Arsenal will try again for Schwarzer

Fulham boss Mark Hughes remains hopeful of securing Mark Schwarzer to a new contract.

The Cottagers fended off strong interest from Arsenal for their veteran Australian keeper, rejecting a £4million offer for a player who is in the final year of his contract.

They are braced for another battle to keep Schwarzer, who will be 38 next month, in January but Hughes is determined to keep a crucial cog in the team's success.

"If we could tie Mark down to a longer contract that would be the ideal for me," he said. "It might not be an option open to us as he is well within his rights to look at his options in January.

"I want him to stay and would be more comfortable and think that I have a chance of winning if Mark was playing.

"We hope that he will stay until the end of the season.

"We weren't receptive to any bids for Mark in January as we were not prepared to take money for him - he's too important for us. In January that will still be the situation as we'd rather he's still here helping us win Premier League games.

"His immediate future is here. We're pleased with that and will look to January when we have to. We are hopeful that we can show him what we want to do and where we want to go.

"I have made it known to him that I want him to be part of that."

 Click here for the best Fulham coverage on the 'net. All your Cottagers news and gossip in one spot.

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