Baird 'considers' Fulham future

Defender to sit out Northern Ireland's friendly with Holland

Chris Baird: Defender is considering his Fulham future, according to Northern Ireland boss Michael O'Neill

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Northern Ireland coach Michael O'Neill says defender Chris Baird is 'thinking over his future' at Fulham and may leave the club this summer.

Baird made only 19 appearances in the Premier League this season as he found his opportunities particularly limited following the turn of the year due in large part to the form of Stephen Kelly at right-back.

The 30-year-old, who joined Fulham from Southampton in the summer of 2007, has served the club well in a variety of positions during his five-year stay at Craven Cottage.

He has already asked for permission to sit out Northern Ireland's friendly against Holland next month, but his international boss O'Neill is desperately hoping he will return to the fold when they kick-off their 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign in September.

O'Neill said: "Chris has asked for time to think over his future.

"He has not had a great season and may be moving on but I would hope he will be available to me after the summer."

Baird attracted interest from West Bromwich Albion during the January transfer window, but Roy Hodgson said at the time Fulham did not want to sell.