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Aug 3, 2010

Hughes wants to keep Schwarzer

Mark Schwarzer's hopes of a dream move to Arsenal have suffered another setback with new Fulham manager Mark Hughes revealing he has no intentions of selling the Australian.

The 37-year-old Socceroos goalkeeper has been linked with a cross-London move for months after Gunners boss Arsene Wenger reportedly identified him as a target to replace current No.1 Manuel Almunia.

Arsenal have already had an initial STG2 million ($A3.5 million) bid rejected and were reportedly preparing an improved offer.

But it could be in vain with former Manchester City manager Hughes declaring shortly after his official unveiling as Roy Hodgson's successor that he doesn't want the likes of Schwarzer and sought-after defender Paul Konchesky going anywhere.

"There is always interest in quality players and it is not my intention to allow the better players to leave the football club," Hughes said at his first official press conference on Tuesday.

"We are in a position where we don't have to sell our better players.

"We want to progress and you want to have the better players, so I suggest the two players you mention will still be Fulham players by the end of the (transfer) window (August 31)."

Hughes, who is aiming to carry on Hodgson's good work and make Fulham a consistent top-10 side, said he plans to meet with Schwarzer to discuss his future.

"There was a conversation (with Schwarzer) some time ago but I have only just come through the door and will have to refresh myself about the conversations that happened," Hughes said.

"We want to resolve the situation as soon as possible but we are not in the position of letting our best players leave and Mark falls into that category."

Schwarzer has another year on his contract at Craven Cottage, but is believed to be desperate to move to one of the Premier League's biggest clubs and secure Champions League football in the twilight of his career.

The shot-stopper's performances helped guide Fulham to the Europa League final and a credible 12th in the Premier League.

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