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Goldbaek hopes for a future at Fulham

last updated Friday 10th January 2003, 9:25 AM
Fulham born-again winger Bjarne Goldbaek has put retirement plans on ice and urged Jean Tigana to hand him the contract that would see him end his career with the Cottagers.

The 34-year-old Dane has returned to the first XI in style after spending the early months of the season warming the bench.

  Fulham midfielder Bjarne Goldbaek  
  Fulham midfielder Bjarne Goldbaek  
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And his recent performances, including when scoring a goal in Sunday's 3-1 FA Cup success against Birmingham, have prompted his plea to Tigana.

The former Cologne, Copenhagen and Chelsea star was only offered a deal for this campaign after last season finished, so will be out of contract again in June.

Goldbaek said in October: "I'm definitely leaving the club after this season and I'm not sure I want to play after that."

But he now wants to play at least another year of top-flight football before hanging up his boots.

"I still feel I'm good enough and I'd play here for one more year if it was offered, for sure," he said.

"I feel very comfortable at the club and my family feel settled where we live.

"But I don't know what's happening next year and I haven't planned anything at all.

"I have to know at some stage, however, because I must take care of my family.

"We must plan school for my son and stuff like that. I'm thinking about what will happen next year."

Goldbaek was a £650,000 buy from Fulham's West London rivals Chelsea in January 2000.

He is a firm fans' favourite at Loftus Road and has no plans to move elsewhere in the country if Tigana snubs his request for a new contract.

"My family would like to stay here for one more year if possible," he said. "I've spoken to my wife and it's about which options you have and which you take.

"It's so difficult to plan in football because you are the hero one week and the total opposite the next. So we will see what kind of options I have in the summer.

"I'd like to play at the highest level for as long as possible, and if you have the possibility to end your career at that level you should.

"You should be honest with yourself and say either 'I can't compete' or 'I can still give something'.

"But I wouldn't move within England as my family have moved enough already.

"And I don't think I would drop a league because it's difficult to travel eight hours by bus to a game somewhere.

"At one stage last season it didn't look that good for me.

"Then I played the last five games, we got some important wins to stay up and I extended my contract by one year.

"This season didn't start that well for me either. But I did my best in training and reserve games while I was waiting for my chance to come. Now I'm trying to take it."
Source PA Sport by Alistair Grant
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