Fulham Manager Mark Hughes Not Ready To Let Mark Schwarzer Go

Shot-stopper not moving to Arsenal at the moment...
Fulham played out a dull scoreless draw with Bolton Wanderers on Saturday afternoon in their Premier League season opener, but the off-field news was the absence in the starting line-up of goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer.

Officially, Schwarzer was facing a late fitness test due to a back problem, but the Australian goalkeeper's absence may also have been explained by the fact that he handed in a transfer request with a view to joining Arsenal earlier this week.

David Stockdale came in to replace Schwarzer for only his fourth Fulham appearance, and his first since playing in a 2-1 win over Everton last September. 

When asked about the situation by BBC 5 Live after the match, Hughes was adamant that nothing had changed from the previous day.

“He [Schwarzer] sees an opportunity, and possibly wishes to take that if he can,” said the Fulham boss.

“But he understands the situation, and our position in the Premier League. If there isn't a deal or a situation that all parties are happy with, at the moment we can't sanction Mark Schwarzer leaving Fulham football club.”

Asked if there would be any interest in another goalkeeper, notably Manchester City's Shay Given, Hughes was again non-committal.

“From our point of view, we're in a position with exceptional goalkeepers," he added.

"Obviously, we want that situation to remain. If there's something that can be done where all parties are happy then we'll investigate it. But, at the moment it doesn't seem likely.”

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