Arsenal suffer massive setback in pursuit of new 'keeper

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Arsenal have suffered a fresh blow in their search for a new goalkeeper after Mark Schwarzer signed a contract extension with Fulham.

There has been a great deal of speculation surrounding the future of the Australian as he headed towards the end of his deal with Fulham, but the 38-year-old stopper has committed himself to Craven Cottage until 2012 at least.

"I’m delighted to have finally signed a contract extension with Fulham after a great deal of speculation surrounding my future in recent months," he told the official Fulham website.

"The club, manager and team have all highlighted their desire to see me stay at the Cottage and after successful negotiations I can confirm that my future is with Fulham.

"Since I joined the club in 2008 we have enjoyed a great deal of success and I believe Mark Hughes and the team will build on this success over the forthcoming seasons and continue the club’s progress. I have enjoyed two memorable years at the club so far and I am now looking forward to many more."

Arsene Wenger was thought to be keen to bring the experienced international to the Emirates Stadium during the summer Arsenal allegedly failed to strike a deal with Fulham.

The Arsenal boss has been linked with moves for an array of glovemen as he looks to find a more reliable alternative to current Gunners 'keepers Lukasz Fabianski and Manuel Almunia.

Fabianski has gathered some admirers after a recent run in the Arsenal first team, but Wenger is still thought to harbour some doubts regarding the consistency of the young Pole, so the Gunners are understood to still be monitoring a number of potential targets.

Liverpool goalie Pepe Reina and Middlesbrough youngster Jason Steele have also been linked with Arsenal as the Gunners steps up their pursuit of a new 'keeper.

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