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Fulham reject bid for Malbranque

last updated Thursday 04th August 2005, 8:25 AM
 Steed Malbranque
Steed Malbranque
Manchester City is the latest Premiership club to bid for a Fulham star and to be rejected.

The Citizens are reported to have made a £4m bid for midfield playmaker Steed Malbranque who has previously been linked to Liverpool and Aston Villa. Malbranque signed for Fulham from Lyon for £5m in August 2001 when Jean Tigana was the manager and is a fan's favourite with his silky football skills.

City spokesman, Paul Tyrrell, said: "It is disappointing that our offer has been turned down, but we still retain a strong interest in the player."

Man City of course sold their main asset, Shaun Wright-Phillips, to Chelsea for £21m and although most of that money will be used to reduce the debts created during the Kegan era some will be available for transfers.

Malbranque is highly regarded by City coach Stuart Pearce who wants to improve City's ability to create goals. The 25-year-old Frenchman has scored 38 goals while at Fulham and has set up many more for teammates.

With the start of the Premiership season looming it is likely that City will return quickly with an improved offer. However as The Cottagers valuation must be nearer the £6m mark The Eastlands moneymen will have to take a deep breath and dig deeper.

Fulham have shown with the Boa Morte transfer saga that they will not roll over easily.

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