Fulham have released a statement denying that top scorer Louis Saha is about to leave the high-flying London side. The French centre forward has been linked with a £7m move to Manchester United but the club said that ‘Fulham FC does not wish to, and has no financial requirement, to sell the player who is under contract to Fulham until 2006.’

The statement revealed that Fulham have received ‘unsolicited and unwelcome enquiries from a number of clubs, including Manchester United’ but ‘the current speculative valuations of the player [Saha] fall very far short of his value to the Club.’ Saha has reaffirmed his commitment to Fulham, according to manager Chris Coleman, who insists his star striker will be leaving the club ‘over my dead body.’ The manager has also stressed to Saha the benefits of playing regular first-team football at Fulham rather than playing second fiddle to Ruud van Nistelrooy at United should he want to represent his country at Euro 2004 next summer.

Fulham’s new chief executive, Jim Hone, added: “It is our aim to consolidate and build for future success and it is not in my plans to sell a player whose value to Fulham far exceeds any current offer. Media speculation surrounding any player can become unsettling and is not welcome; Louis is very much part of our future and is simply not for sale at this stage.”