Fulham manager Martin Jol is confident of tying up a deal to keep Pavel Pogrebnyak at Craven Cottage.
The 28-year-old was drafted in on January transfer deadline day to fill the void left by Bobby Zamora's move to QPR, but few could have predicted the on-loan striker's impact. Pogrebnyak has netted five times in as many games for the Cottagers, leading to reported interest from rival Barclays Premier League clubs and some further afield.
The Russia international will be a free agent at the end of the season when his contract with parent club Stuttgart expires, and Jol said: "Yes, [I am confident of signing him permanently]. I told him yesterday and he wanted to come to my office at one o'clock today, but I now realise that is impossible because I am here at the press conference."
He added: "I want to speak to him first [before sorting out a contract].
"I think he wants to stay because Pavel knows football. Things were not always easy for him but now he is the main striker for us. Hopefully he will appreciate that."
Pogrebnyak was not the only player whose future was under the spotlight at Thursday's press conference to preview the clash at Manchester United on Monday.
Jol confirmed talks have begun to extend the deal of centre-back Brede Hangeland, whose contract runs out in 18 months.
Clint Dempsey's deal expires at the same time but the Fulham boss was coy when asked about whether discussions had begun with the United States international.
"We want to keep him but we have time on our side," Jol said. "We have a year from June, which is why I tell you we have time on our side. It depends on him as well, maybe he wants to wait."
Asked again whether a deal was being discussed with the Texan, he said: "We are talking to players and we have got time on our side. It is not about now, tomorrow or next week. If the time is right, if we come to a solution with those players, I will tell you."