Chris Coleman is desperate to keep Steed Malbranque at Craven Cottage after the French midfielder marked his return from injury with the winner against Newcastle.

Fulham will begin a fresh rounds of talks with the 25 year-old over a new contract in the coming weeks with the Whites keen to ward off interest from a host of suitors after Manchester City failed with a prolonged pursuit of the former Lyon man last summer.

“Steed would be a great player in anyone’s team. He wasn’t fit to start but it’s nice to bring him off the bench. It was 0-0 and his presence gave our crowd a lift,” Coleman said. “Steed’s injury has been a double-edged sword. If he’d been on fire then there would have been one or two teams looking at him during the transfer window.

“The bottom line is he’s got 18 months of his contract to go. We’re delighted with him, he’s fully committed to us and we’re not looking to sell him. We want to add quality to the squad. Eighteen months is not a long time, but it’s not like six months. We’re desperate to extend his contract and it’s up to Steed what happens.

“Nowadays players want to see their contract out and then walk away for nothing. We want to get him fit and then we’ll sit down with him. We’ve been talking but it’s early days yet.”