CHRIS Baird wants to stay at Craven Cottage and fight for his place in the Fulham first-team.

The defender has been strongly linked with a move away from the club this summer after he was left out of the Northern Ireland squad for last month's friendly with Holland to 'consider his future', according to national coach Michael O'Neill.

Baird made just 13 Premier League starts last campaign, finding himself behind Zdenek Grygera and Stephen Kelly in the pecking order.

The 30-year-old is entering the final 12 months of his contract at the Cottage and has yet to be offered fresh terms.

West Brom had been strongly linked with the utility man earlier this year before Roy Hodgson quit the Hawthorns to take the England job.

However, Baird wants to stay with the Whites and battle it out for a first-team spot.

A source close to the player said: “Chris only has a year left on his contract but is happy at Fulham.

“He just wants to play football. If the time comes when he's not involved then he'll have a chat about his situation.”

Baird has made almost 150 appearances for Fulham, scoring two goals, since his £3million switch from Southampton five years ago.

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