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Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez has tried to snatch Fulham midfielder Steed Malbranque from Manchester City’s grasp.

Malbranque, 26, has turned down a new £40,000-a-week contract which has forced Fulham boss Chris Coleman to listen to offers as the Frenchman only has 12 months left on his current deal.

It is understood that Liverpool – who tried to get Malbranque two years ago – and City have both made enquiries and have begun negotiations.

City boss Stuart Pearce has also tried to sign Malbranque in the last two transfer windows and is hopeful he can get him on the cheap.

Liverpool are searching for a right-sided midfielder, and Malbranque can play there or in the middle.

Malbranque has emerged as one of Fulham’s best players in the last few seasons.