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Real escape with hope of progress

What the papers say
By ESPN Staff

Schwarzer to leave Fulham in EPL

Socceroos goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer has confirmed he's set to leave Fulham after the Premier League club signed Dutch international goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg.

The 30-year-old Stekelenburg was signed by coach and compatriot Martin Jol from Italian side Roma on a four-year deal announced by the London club on their website.

Fresh from his big role in Australia's impressive 1-1 draw in the World Cup qualifier against Japan in Saitama, 40-year-old Schwarzer said he expected to move in the wake of the signing but ruled out coming back to Australia to play in the A-League.

"That's what I've heard (Stekelenburg's signing) and I've been hearing that for a while so it's no great surprise and I'll be looking for another club," Schwarzer told News Ltd.

"Nothing has been sorted at the moment. The Japan game was the most important thing on the agenda so I'm worried about the Australia games now."

Schwarzer wants to keep playing first team football ahead of next year's World Cup and he hoped that could be in England.

Asked if the A-League was a possibility, he told News Ltd: "Not at this stage, no. My family's settled and the kids are in school and I wouldn't (move) my family anyway.

"And when you talk about the length of season, it's never ideal when it finishes in April so, as far as I'm concerned, I'll try and stay in Europe for as long as possible and England would be ideal."

Stekelenburg becomes Fulham's fourth signing of the off-season, following earlier moves for German full-back Sascha Riether, who spent last season on loan at Craven Cottage, Ghanaian midfielder Derek Boateng and Venezuelan defender Fernando Amorebieta.

Stekelenburg, who has won 54 caps for the Netherlands and played in the 2010 World Cup final defeat against Spain, said he was excited about the prospect of linking up with Jol again, having previously worked with him at Ajax.

"It's good that I'll be joining Martin again," Stekelenburg told the Fulham website.

"He knows my capabilities very well, so I am just looking forward to joining up with the team in pre-season and enjoying some time with them prior to the new season starting."

Jol tipped Stekelenburg for success, saying: "He is a player of great quality and technical ability whose distribution and ability to react quickly and read the game is exceptional. He will be a fantastic addition to the talented team of keepers that we already have."


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