Fulham manager Mark Hughes has told Australia goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer he won't be allowed to make a dream move to Arsenal. The Australia international this week pleaded with Hughes to let him join the Gunners, who had a bid for the Socceroos star rejected by the Cottagers in May and are still interested.
The 37-year-old described the possibility of linking up with Wenger's side as "an amazing opportunity that I want to take". But Hughes is determined to keep the former Middlesbrough player and insisted any new offer from the north London club would be turned down.
"From our point of view the situation has not changed. There was interest from Arsenal in May. Their bid was refused. We have not had any more bids and we wouldn't encourage any," Hughes said on Friday.
"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."
Schwarzer was a key player for Fulham last season as the west London club enjoyed a fairytale run to the UEFA Europa League final and Hughes, who took over from Roy Hodgson two weeks ago, is aware it would be impossible to find an adequate replacement this late in the transfer window.
"He is an outstanding goalkeeper. It's only when you work with players that you realise how good they are," Hughes added. "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."
Hughes also hopes to conclude a deal for AZ Alkmaar striker Moussa Dembele soon. "We have made some progress with Moussa," Hughes said. "We hope that he will be in London by the close of play (on Friday) to do a medical, although it hasn't been fully signed off by his club yet."