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Page last updated at 18:22 GMT, Sunday, 21 December 2008

Hodgson angered by Bullard talk

Jimmy Bullard
Bullard joined Fulham from Wigan for 2.5m in May 2006

Fulham midfielder Jimmy Bullard's future at the club remains under the spotlight despite helping his side to victory over Middlesbrough on Saturday.

Bullard, 29, has two years left on his current contract but Fulham have yet to offer him a new deal.

"Jimmy is doing a good job but a lot of players are doing a fantastic job in this team," said manager Roy Hodgson.

"I and the rest of the players can feel a bit aggrieved that all the talk seems to be revolving around one man."

On Friday, Hodgson was forced to deny claims by Bullard that the club said he could leave in the January transfer window.

West Ham, Blackburn and Everton are among the clubs reported to be interested in the midfielder who joined Fulham from Wigan for 2.5m in May 2006 but spent over a year on the sidelines with a dislocated kneecap before returning last season.

Bullard opened the scoring for the Craven Cottage side in their 3-0 win over Middlesbrough which sent them up to eighth in the table and afterwards Hodgson was again forced to field questions about his star midfielder.

"I don't want players to leave this club," he said. "But if the moment arrives and a big offer comes in for one of our top players, I and the club will have to take a position on that.

"I don't want to lose him. I don't want to put a figure on the guy's head because I hope he is going to be playing for us for the rest of the season.

"I am happy with the way the team is playing. Jimmy is working very hard at his game.

"He is getting forward more and in good form and let's hope the situation resolves itself. But don't forget he has one and a half years left on his contract.

"Danny Murphy has done a remarkable job in his quiet way. Jimmy has done his bit and I am the first to recognise and thank him for it but it is wrong to make this a one-man club.

Hodgson added: "We're not trying to get rid of Jimmy Bullard, (he) is trying to get a contract which suits him.

"He's not sure we can provide that contract which suits him and as a result we have to be realistic.

"There might be clubs out there who can offer him that and who can match the transfer fee that we think he's worth. If it happens, it happens."

Hodgson delighted with important win

"We're still waiting to see what happens because he's got his own ambitions.

"I think he is concerned the club can't match his wage demands. It is not certain that Fulham will be the club to match them."

Fulham skipper Murphy said it was important to the club for Bullard to agree a new deal as soon as possible.

"I've a simple philosophy on it which is you want to keep this squad," said Murphy.

"It's the best we've had since I've been here and the best Fulham have had in a long time.

"There's no way we want to see any of our good players leave. I hope Jimmy can sort it out because we know what his qualities are and know he's a great asset on the pitch.

"In negotiations you have to find a balance to what he wants and his security, but his performances are tremendous.

"He makes things happen and he's infectious. He has a good effect on the players around him.

"He's a friend, so I want him to stay, he's a top player. But like any situation, if a bigger club came calling I can't say he'd definitely stay as everyone has ambitions."

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see also
Fulham 3-0 Middlesbrough
20 Dec 08 |  Premier League
England call is surreal - Bullard
02 Sep 08 |  Internationals
Bullard called into England squad
31 Aug 08 |  Internationals

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