Mark Hughes admits goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer wants to join Arsenal but said Fulham did not want to sell.
Arsene Wenger is keen to sign a new goalkeeper this summer, and they had a bid for 37-year-old Schwarzer – believed to be worth £2 million – rejected earlier this summer.
Fulham are said to have put a £4 million price tag on Schwarzer, but Hughes says Arsenal have yet to return with an improved offer and insists he has no interest in allowing him to leave Craven Cottage.
“From our point of view, the situation has not changed,” Hughes said. “There was interest from Arsenal in May. Their bid was refused. We have not had any more bids and we wouldn’t encourage any.
“Mark sees it as an opportunity with the current stage that he is at in his career. I can appreciate that but he has to understand that we have to protect Fulham too.
“At the moment it wouldn’t be right for Fulham football club. He is an outstanding goalkeeper. It’s only when you work with players that you realise how good they are.
“It would be difficult to replace him. It’s difficult to get the right quality into your football club. We have a top-class keeper in our squad and we would like to keep him.”
Schwarzer had pleaded with Fulham to let him make his move to Arsenal before the transfer window closes at the end of the month
“I need it to happen,” Schwarzer told the Australian Daily Telegraph.
“I’ve had a couple of chats with Mark [Hughes]. It’s delicately poised.
“Who wouldn’t be keen to go to Arsenal? At this stage in my career it’s an amazing opportunity to play at that level and one I really want to take.
“It’s taken a long time and the season’s very close. On one hand you understand them not wanting to disrupt too many things but I want things resolved as quickly as possible.
“Only time will tell whether that happens or not.”