Fulham manager Martin Jol has urged Pavel Pogrebnyak to commit his long-term future to the club, and is hoping that the promise of guaranteed first-team football will be enough to tempt the Russia international striker.
As Goal.com exclusively revealed in March, Fulham do not have the first option to sign the on-loan Russian when his contract with parent club Stuttgart expires in the summer, and now face a battle to secure the signature of a player whose six goals in eight games have caught the eye of several clubs.
Sunderland and Aston Villa are said to be monitoring the situation, and the 28-year-old’s stock could well rise even further in the summer should be perform well for Russia at Euro 2012, prompting Jol to pull out all the stops to sign the former Zenit man.
The Cottagers boss told the Evening Standard: “We have made him a very good offer. He likes it here so hopefully my people can agree a good contract with him.
"We have made him a very good offer. He likes it here"
“I’m confident because if you look at the top five [in the Premier League], if he went to one of them he would be in the same situation as he was before.
“It would be like, for example, the situation Jermain Defoe has got at [Tottenham]. And there are other players at big clubs, like Fernando Torres [at Chelsea], who are not playing all the time. That is what you get if you are playing in the top five.
“With me, Pavel knows that, if he gives 100 per cent, he starts. He knows that, I’ve told him. There is not a lot of rivalry up front here, so that should be a good feeling for him.”
Jol also expressed his satisfaction with his first season in charge at Craven Cottage, and is happy that the club have secured their Premier League survival with plenty of games to spare, unlike in some previous seasons.
“We were probably safe six weeks ago,” he observed. “That is different, it is good, especially if you recognise the fact that we changed the formation with five or six new players.
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"That has not been easy, so I’m very pleased that, with four games to go, we’ve already got almost as many points as last year.”
The Dutchman is now looking onwards and upwards, starting with Saturday’s trip to Everton.
“If we beat Everton — although it is an away game so it won’t be easy — we go above them. And everybody tells me week in, week out that Everton are fantastic. If that is true, we are pretty good as well,” he concluded.