Hodgson confirms Duff interest

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Roy Hodgson confirmed Fulham are closing in on Damien Duff but denied Brede Hangeland will be moving to Arsenal.

Fulham have offered Newcastle £4million for the 30-year-old Republic of Ireland winger, who became a regular at Blackburn when Hodgson took over at Ewood Park in 1997.

"The clubs are talking and I hope the deal will go through. He's a player that interests us," he said. "Damien and I go back a long way from when we worked together at Blackburn. He wants to come back to west London."

He added: "Damien had injury problems at Chelsea and has done well at Newcastle given the turmoil there.

"Every time he's played for Ireland he's consistently been one of their best performers. We know what we'd be getting with Damien - he's an experienced and quality player."

Hangeland's future at Craven Cottage has been an ongoing source of speculation since the Norway centre back rose to prominence on the back of his superb form last season.

Arsenal, who need to increase their defensive options, have continually been linked with a £15million move for Hangeland but Hodgson insists his prized asset is staying at Fulham.

"There has been no approach from any club for Hangeland and as a result we're expecting him to play for us this season," he said.

Hodgson reached a dead end in his pursuit of Mark Viduka, now a free agent after leaving Newcastle, with the Australian opting against staying in the Barclays Premier League.

"I met Mark when he came down to London and spent a bit of time with him to ascertain what his intentions were," he said. "I wanted to know if he wanted to continue playing in the Premier League but by the end of our discussion it was pretty clear he'd made his decision to leave it behind and start a new life."

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Blackburn Rovers
Premier League
Brede Hangeland
Damien Duff
Mark Viduka

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