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Fulham hope to keep loan star Pogrebnyak
Published : 22 Mar 2012 15:47:31
Fulham manager Martin Jol believes his club will be able to sign on-loan Russia striker Pavel Pogrebnyak on a permanent basis despite interest from several other teams.
Jol took Pogrebnyak from German side Stuttgart just before the close of the January transfer window to fill the void left by England striker Bobby Zamora's move to QPR.
It has proved an inspired move as Pogrebnyak has scored five times in as many games for the Cottagers, leading to reports that several Premier League clubs and others in Europe are keen to swoop for the 28-year-old.
Pogrebnyak will be available on a free transfer when his contract with Stuttgart expires at the end of the season, but Jol believes he can persuade the forward to remain in west London for the long-term.
"Yes, I am confident of signing him permanently," Jol said on Thursday. "I told him that yesterday and he wanted to come to my office at one o'clock today, but I now realise that is impossible because I am here at the press conference!
"I want to speak to him first (before sorting out a contract). I think he wants to stay because Pavel knows football.
"Things were not always easy for him but now he is the main striker for us. Hopefully he will appreciate that."
Pogrebnyak is not the only Fulham player whose future is under the spotlight as Jol starts to look ahead to next season.
The Cottagers boss confirmed talks have begun to extend the deal of Norwegian defender Brede Hangeland, whose contract runs out in 18 months.
Jol also wants to ensure Clint Dempsey remain at Craven Cottage beyond his current deal, which expires in 2013, but he has yet to start talks with the American midfielder.
"We want to keep him but we have time on our side," Jol said.
"We have a year from June, which is why I tell you we have time on our side. It depends on him as well, maybe he wants to wait.
"We are talking to players and we have got time on our side. It is not about now, tomorrow or next week."