FULHAM are keeping a watchful eye on Danny Simpson’s contract talks at Newcastle United.
The defender has been involved in long-running discussions over a new deal at the Sports Direct Arena.
Simpson and the club are hopeful of a breakthrough after negotiations restarted.
However, Fulham – who were keen on Simpson when Mark Hughes was in charge – retain an interest in the 25-year-old with Martin Jol at the helm.
Simpson is keen to commit his long-term future to the club he joined two years ago.
But he’s looking for a contract that reflects his contribution to the cause since he signed from Manchester United during Newcastle’s promotion season, having been a near-ever present since leaving Old Trafford.
United manager Alan Pardew said last month that Simpson’s future would be resolved in the summer, and added that if he didn’t sign a new deal, he would look for a new right-back.
However, he’s hopeful recent talks will see a compromise reached with Simpson.
Meanwhile, Hatem Ben Arfa is dreaming of Wembley – and a return to Europe – with Newcastle United.
The forward scored a stunning goal in Saturday’s 2-1 FA Cup win over Blackburn Rovers at the Sports Direct Arena.
Ben Arfa is looking for the club, which has been drawn against Brighton or Wrexham in the fourth round, to go all the way in the competition, which it last won in 1955.
The 24-year-old is well aware Newcastle last won a trophy back in 1969.
“Newcastle want to win this cup, because it’s a very big cup,” Ben Arfa said.
“It’s been a long time since this club won a trophy, and we want to win something, and with this cup, you can go to Europe.
“If we win, it would be very good for the club, but there is a long way to go in the cup.”
United also have a chance of qualifying for the Europa through their Premier League campaign, with the club well placed in seventh ahead of Saturday’s home game against Queens Park Rangers.
Newcastle beat Manchester United 3-0 in their last league outing, and winning back-to-back games after a frustrating run of results was important for dressing room confidence.
Ben Arfa added: “It was very important for us to win two games together – it was very good for the confidence. We showed very good character, because it’s hard when you go behind.”