Hangeland denies contract rift

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Brede Hangeland has denied rejecting a new contract by Fulham and is confident he will remain at Craven Cottage next season.

The Norway skipper's commanding performances at the heart of Fulham's defence have drawn admiring glances from Arsenal and Liverpool. Hangeland is reported to have dismissed the fresh terms offered by Europe-chasing Fulham as "derisory", but the £2.5million signing from FC Copenhagen is adamant a new deal can be agreed.

"I've never made any comments about the negotiations and I never will," he told the club's official website,

"So if you read something about me having said something it's not true. I've said all along I'm happy at Fulham - and I believe we can reach an agreement.

"They've said they're happy with what I've done - and I'm happy with the club. There's no reason to think otherwise that I'll be leaving."

Hangeland's stance will have been greeted with joy by Roy Hodgson, who declared last week he would fight "tooth and nail" to keep his coveted centre-back.

The Fulham boss will also be encouraged by the 27-year-old's declaration that Saturday's west London derby against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge is ripe for an upset.

"Normally you're in for a particularly difficult game when you go to Chelsea but considering our recent form I think we can go there and get something," said Hangeland.

"At the beginning of the season we were hoping to avoid having to play for anything at this time of the year because it might have been another relegation battle.

"But now we have a great chance of Europe."

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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Brede Hangeland

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