By Wayne Veysey
Brede Hangeland is on the brink of signing a new Fulham contract, Goal.comcan reveal.
The London club have offered the key defender an improved deal and are confident he will put pen to paper before the New Year.
Fulham want their skipper’s future sorted out before January, when he will able to sign a free transfer pre-contract agreement with a foreign club.
Goal.com understands that contract negotiations with Hangeland are advanced and that has indicated he will put pen to paper on a deal that will keep him at the club up until at least 2014. The Norway international’s current deal expires next summer.
Arsenal have shown interest in Hangeland in the past but did not make strong advances and the centre-back, who moved to Craven Cottage in January 2008 from FC Copenhagen, is content in west London.
“Brede doesn’t want to go to a high profile club,” a source close to the player told Goal.com. “He is low key and riches don’t motivate him.”
Nevertheless, Hangeland’s salary is expected to be brought in line with Fulham’s top bracket of earners like €5million summer signing Dimitar Berbatov and long-serving goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer.
The Londoners operate a strict wage structure and no player at the club is believed to be paid more than £50,000-a-week (€61,000). As revealed by Goal.com, Fulham negotiated a deal with Manchester United in which England’s highest-earning club pay a portion of Berbatov’s salary.
Speaking last week, manager Martin Jol said that he was hopeful that his centre-back would stay at Craven Cottage,
“We are talking to [Hangeland]," Jol told the Fulham and Hammersmith Chronicle. "He knows what we've offered him is good so hopefully he will make a decision in the next month or so. We're optimistic."
Hangeland is expected to return to the Fulham starting line-up for the short trip to QPR on Saturday after serving a three-match suspension.
Fulham lost twice and earned an honourable goal-less draw at Chelsea in the Norwegian’s absence, slipping to 13thin the league table.