Fulham have turned down a £4m bid from Manchester City for midfielder Steed Malbranque.

Malbranque, who moved to Fulham for £5m from Lyon in 2001, has quickly become a fans’ favourite at Craven Cottage and has been linked with a move to Liverpool and Aston Villa this summer. Fulham are not interested in selling the French midfielder, although City may test their resolve with an increased offer.

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.”

The 25 year-old has scored 38 goals in four seasons with Fulham and is widely regarded as one of the best midfielders in the top flight.