The two key players have held further talks with Craven Cottage chiefs in recent weeks and are expected to pen contract extensions before their agreements expire in the summerBy Wayne Veysey | Chief Correspondent
Fulham stars Brede Hangeland and Mark Schwarzer are close to agreeing new contracts with the club, Goal.com understands.
The key pair are both out of contract in the summer but have held fresh talks with the west London outfit in recent weeks.
Hangeland, 31, is expected to commit for at least two more years, while Schwarzer, 40, is set to sign a 12-month extension.
The futures of the experienced pair have been in doubt this year after Hangeland was targeted by QPR in January and Fulham failed in a bid to sign Roma goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg on loan on deadline day.
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However, Fulham recognise how important the club captain and goalkeeper have been to their success during the Roy Hodgson, Mark Hughes and Martin Jol regimes and do not want to lose them.
The Londoners, who lie 10th in the Premier League table following Sunday’s win at Tottenham, are increasingly confident the club captain and goalkeeper will follow Damien Duff and Philippe Senderos, who both signed year-long contract extensions last month, in penning new deals.
As revealed by Goal.com, Fulham rebuffed an approach from QPR for Hangeland in January. The Norway international is settled at Craven Cottage and wants to commit to the extended terms, which would bring him in line with top earners Schwarzer and Dimitar Berbatov.
Manager Martin Jol has said he is “optimistic” that Hangeland will take up the “good” offer from the club.
Schwarzer, who turns 41 in October, might have to accept a downgrade in status next season if, as expected, Fulham move for a younger ‘keeper in the summer.
The Londoners bid for Stoke City new boy Jack Butland in January in addition to their failed swoop for Stekelenburg.