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Fulham in for Damien Duff


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Fulham boss Roy Hodgson is hopeful of signing Damien Duff after offering Newcastle £4m to buy the winger.

Republic of Ireland international Duff, 30, has been at St James' Park since joining from Chelsea for £5m in 2006.

"The clubs are talking and I hope the deal goes through," Hodgson said. "He is a player that interests us."

Meanwhile, veteran goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer, 36, has signed a new one-year contract extension with Fulham to keep him at the club until 2011.

Duff, who grabbed Newcastle's equaliser in their opening-day draw with West Brom last week, has scored six goals in 86 games for the Magpies.

He spent three years in west London with Chelsea between 2003 and 2006 after making his name at Blackburn.

Duff worked under Hodgson as a teenager at Ewood Park and, according to the Cottagers boss, is keen to return to the capital.

"Damien and I go back a long way from when we worked together at Blackburn," added Hodgson. "He wants to come back to west London."

"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."

But Hodgson's bid to sign former Newcastle striker Mark Viduka is over after the 33-year-old Australian decided to call time on his career in England.

"I wanted to know if he wanted to continue playing in the Premier League," Hodgson explained. "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."

Meanwhile, BBC Radio 5 live has learned that David O'Leary is no longer in contention for the vacant manager's job at Newcastle.

The 51-year-old former Leeds United and Aston Villa manager was linked with the Magpies earlier this week, when it was thought owner Mike Ashley had decided the club was no longer for sale.


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