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Aston Villa have ruled out a possible swoop for Fulham midfielder Steed Malbranque.

The 25-year-old French playmaker has been linked with a move away from Craven Cottage but Villa Park is not a possible destination, according to Villa operations director Steve Stride.

He said: “During one of my many conversations with David O’Leary, Malbranque’s name came up and David insisted most definitely that he was not one of the names on his list.”