Chris Coleman remains confident that Steed Malbranque will stay at Fulham, saying that he believes they are close to an agreement on a new deal with the French playmaker.

Malbranque has been linked with moves away from Craven Cottage for the last couple of seasons, and many believe he could be finally on his way this summer.

The 26-year-old has just one season remaining on his current contract and Coleman has already urged him to sign a new deal as soon as possible.

Coleman hopes signing the likes of Jimmy Bullard will send out the right signals to Malbranque that the club want to do much better than this year.

The Welsh boss says that the board are fully behind his bid to keep Malbranque at the club, and believes that a deal could be close.

“I think he will stay, I think we’ve come to an agreement with him,” Coleman said.

“We’ve pushed the boat out to try and keep him and in my heart of hearts I do believe we’ll keep him.

“If you look at midfield players they don’t come much better I think. We’re desperate to keep Steed. We want him to sign a long-term contract with us.

“The chairman and directors are going all out to keep him here which is great. We know he’s a fantastic football player, but Steed has to want to stay with us, we can’t force him.

“He’s very important to our plans, our supporters love him to pieces.

“I don’t want to be signing players like Bullard and losing players like Malbranque because what’s the point? We’re bringing in one good player and losing a good player.

“The whole point is we want to build and progress and we want Malbranque to be a big part of that.”