Schwarzer waits for the big clubs

Mark Schwarzer remains hopeful of securing a move to a giant English club but says playing in January’s Asian Cup in Qatar could damage his chances.

He is yet to commit to Fulham after the club failed to agree to English Premier League powerhouse Arsenal from offering during the transfer window in August.

The Gunners failed to put enough cash on the table to tempt Craven Cottage officials and Fulham boss Mark Hughes is trying to sign Schwarzer to a fresh deal.

The Australian says his club future is up in the air before the next transfer window in the New Year.

“My manager (Hughes) has expressed his desire for me to stay on at the club which I am flattered by and that will be discussed in the next couple of weeks,” he said.

“What will happen … who knows?”

One of the potential sticking points for a club signing Schwarzer in January is that Asian Cup commitments could rub him out for the entire month.

Losing a new signing for a month in the middle of the season is not exactly an attractive proposition for possible suitors.

“I want to play as much as possible for Australia, and the Asian Cup, that is one single tournament in the month of January.

“If something were to arise, that is something that would have to be addressed at the time.

“The (Australian) manager is looking at picking the strongest possible team and if I am one of those players, then there is no question (I will play for Australia).”

After the bitter disappointment of missing out on a move to north London, the 38-year-old has been his consistent self for Fulham.

The Cottagers are 16th on the EPL ladder but only one win from the top half of the congested table.

The prospect of Champions League action is still proving a tease for Australia’s goalkeeper from the past two World Cups.

“When you have a team playing Champions League football and competing for winning major honours that is something at this stage of my career that is difficult for me to turn my head away from,” he said.

“The club (Fulham) have been fully understanding, the supporters have been unbelievable and it is something I thank them for.”

At his age, Schwarzer was only ever going to be a short term option for the Gunners and the problem is his moment might have past.

Lukasz Fabianski, apart from this month’s shocker against Newcastle, has become solid at the back for Arsenal, while 20-year-old Wojciech Szczesny is viewed as a quality long-term option.

While Schwarzer’s club career is surrounded by uncertainty, his place in the national side is unchallenged.

He is closing in on Alex Tobin’s record of 87 appearances for the Socceroos.

If he stays fit and Australia perform well at the Asian Cup, the former Middlesbrough man is on track to pass the milestone in the semi-finals of the competition in late January.

“To break a record like that would be very special but it is definitely not something that drives me to continue to play,” he said.

“I just love playing and will continue as long as I warrant selection.”


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