Hughes eyes Schwarzer stay
Fulham boss aiming to tie down keeper
Mark Hughes hopes the offer of a new deal will persuade Mark Schwarzer to stay at Fulham when the transfer window reopens.
The 37-year-old attracted interest from Arsenal during the summer but Fulham fought hard to secure the services of a goalkeeper rated one of the finest in the Premier League.
They were not tempted to accept a £4million offer from the Gunners, even though Schwarzer is in the final year of his contract at Craven Cottage and could leave for free at the end of the season.
Manager Hughes is braced for another battle in the New Year but regards Schwarzer as such a key component of the team that he would like the Australian to extend his contract.
"If we could tie Mark down to a longer contract that would be the ideal for me," he explained.
"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."
Schwarzer was well received by Fulham fans before last Saturday's 2-1 victory over Wolves, despite the fact he was very keen to join Arsenal.
And Hughes was never concerned that Schwarzer would become troublesome after his dream move to Emirates Stadium failed to materialise.
"Mark has made a real mark here and the reception showed the respect for him," said Hughes.
"He's made a real impact at the club and been a part of the whole success here, so that respect was due and was given, which was really good for him.
"Mark's a good professional. I knew there wouldn't be any difference in his daily work or the way he approaches games, so it wasn't a worry for me.
"In football you get disappointments more than good times, so that's the norm.
"He's got over the initial disappointment so he's getting on with it now."