Fulham defender and former £10m Arsenal and United target released after relegation

Fulham have released Brede Hangeland, once a target for Premier League giants Arsenal and Manchester United, following their relegation to the Championship.

After more than six years at the club, Brede Hangeland has been released from his contract 12 months early following their relegation to the Championship last season.

Hangeland, 32, had signed a new two-year deal with the West London club in March 2013, but after an unforeseen relegation, it seems all parties have decided to go their separate ways with Fulham wishing their experienced defender all the best.

A statement on the official club website read: ‘The club would like to thank Brede for his six and a half years of committed service and wishes him the very best in all of his future endeavours.’

The defender, whilst ageing, would have likely been an asset for Felix Magath in the Championship so the decision to allow him to leave, in my opinion, seems a little odd.

It was only two years ago that rumours surrounded the Norwegian defender with a move to both Arsenal and Manchester United. However, the progress of the defender has quickly gone downhill since the move to either club didn’t materialise.

Last season, The Norweigan defender had a record of 44 conceded goals in his 23 appearances, which nearly equates to two-goals a game. Although, it has to be said, the Fulham defence were much better off with him in the side as without him, they conceded 41 goals in 15 games. An appalling record, which was largely the reason they were relegated at the end of the season.

Nevertheless, the stubbornness of Fulham to keep their influential defender in the end has acted as a bullet dodged for both Arsenal and Manchester United who, if he had signed, could have been stuck with a below-par centre-back on big money.

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