Reading are ready to join the chase for Fulham contract rebel Steed Malbranque as a replacement for Steve Sidwell.

Royals boss Steve Coppell will make a bid for the £4million-rated French midfielder if Sidwell quits for Manchester City.

Malbranque, 26, has been chased by City and Middlesbrough, however both clubs have reportedly been put off by the Frenchman’s wage demands, believed to be in the region of £50,000 a week.

Chris Coleman, the Fulham manager, is keen to sell Malbranque following the breakdown of contract talks. The midfielder was made to train with Fulham’s youth team on their pre-season tour of Austria after rejecting a new deal.

Sidwell, 23, is refusing to sign an extension to his contract at Reading. Coppell, who has signed South Korea winger Seol Ki-Hyeon and Brentford defender Sam Sodje, said: “We will be making further buys soon.”