The 35-year-old Australia international announced in his native country earlier today he is to join the Londoners after rejecting a new deal at the Riverside Stadium, and both clubs have now confirmed the move.

Southgate had hoped Schwarzer would extend his stay beyond the 11 years he has spent on Teesside, but ultimately had to admit defeat.

However, unlike last summer, when he lost strikers Mark Viduka and Ayegbeni Yakubu and was left with a major hole in his squad, he is confident he has the men on hand to plug the gap.

Southgate said: "I felt it would have been good to have retained Mark's experience because he was always a good example for younger players.

"With that in mind, we made him a fair offer, but he decided to take up a different offer and move on.

"I enjoyed playing alongside and managing Mark because he was always an outstanding professional.

"He was a very consistent goalkeeper for us for more than 11 years, so he deserves great credit for that, though the club has looked after him too.

"I have wanted to see what Brad and Ross are capable of and they will now get the opportunity to show me.

"They will come back for pre-season training on an equal footing with the first-choice goalkeeper's shirt up for grabs.

"It's up to them to take that opportunity."

Schwarzer, a £1.5million signing from Bradford in February 1997, made 446 appearances for the club and was in the side that lifted the Carling Cup in 2004.

He also secured their first qualification for Europe via the league with a late penalty save from Robbie Fowler at Manchester City on the final day of the 2004-05 season.

Turnbull, 23, and 26-year-old Australian Jones may now get their chance after the end of an era.

Boro chief executive Keith Lamb said: "I think Mark and Middlesbrough could probably do with a change.

"We did offer him a new two-year deal, but he has chosen to go elsewhere, which is obviously his prerogative.

"We wish Mark well in his new career at Fulham, but his move creates a fantastic opportunity for either Brad Jones or Ross Turnbull to succeed him as our new first-choice goalkeeper."