By Wayne Veysey | Chief Correspondent
Fulham are ready to open talks with manager Martin Jol about a new contract, Goal.com has learned.
The Dutchman’s current deal expires at the end of the season and negotiations have yet to begin on an extension.
However, the west London club want to tie Jol down to a longer agreement after being impressed with how he has guided the team through the new season despite losing regulars Mousa Dembele, Clint Dempsey, Pavel Pogrebnyak, Danny Murphy, Andy Johnson and Dickson Etuhu in the summer.
Fulham are wary of avoiding a repeat of the situation in June 2011, when former boss Mark Hughes took advantage of an escape clause in his contract to quit without notice.
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Jol guided Fulham to ninth in the Premier League – and equal on points with eighth-placed Liverpool - in his first season in charge, with the team’s 52-point haul only a point short of their record tally in the top tier. The club currently stand seventh in the league after nine games of the current campaign.
The 56-year-old former Tottenham, Ajax and Hamburg boss is understood to have been particularly disappointed to lose prize asset Dembele to Tottenham in the last week of the August window but was thrilled that chief executive Alistair Mackintosh and owner Mohamed Al-Fayed backed his judgement by negotiating the stellar signing of Dimitar Berbatov two days later.
When addressing the issue of his future, Jol recently hinted at a lack of appreciation from a section of the Fulham fanbase.
“I’d love to stay, but I’m too sensitive for this business,” he explained. “I like to be recognised. That’s why I’m a sportsman. I work not only for money, but because I want people to see me and my club are doing well.
“When I was in Waalwijk, at my first club, they named a street after me.
“I get on with the people at Fulham. The only thing is this is an old-school place. I still don’t feel all the supporters are behind me.”
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