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Fulham midfield star Steed Malbranque underlined his importance to Fulham on Saturday with a winning goal against Newcastle in what was discribed by boss Chris coleman as a massive win.

The Cottagers boss is ready to begin fresh contract talks to keep the French midfielder at Craven Cottage. Last summer Malbranque was the subject of a tranfer bid by Manchester City and was linked to other Premiership clubs.

“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,” he 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.”