Fulham manager Chris Coleman admits it was a “relief” to get Steed Malbranque’s future resolved when the midfielder was sold to Tottenham.

The Frenchman joined Spurs in a £2million deal on transfer deadline day, after a well-documented falling out with the west-London club over a new contract.

During his exile in the reserves, Malbranque, 26, picked up a groin injury and has since had a hernia operation, which will now sideline him for two months.

Despite the acrimonious nature of his departure, Coleman accepted their was little either party could do under the circumstance they found themselves in.

“I am relieved for Steed, and for us,” the Fulham manager said.

“The way the situation was, the sooner he left the club the better we would be, and the better it would be for his career.

“We are all relieved because there was never going to be a winner out of the situation.”

Coleman reflected: “The battle was between him and the club.

“We had one opinion on the situation and he had a different one.

“If you have a player who is willing to sit it out then there is nothing you can do.

“We had big bids coming in, but he did not want to talk to the clubs.

“We got to the point where within 48 hours he would be worth £1million in January or worth nothing at the end of the season.

“That is why the deal was done.”

Coleman, though, maintained Malbranque adopted a professional and productive approach when working with the second string.

“Every time he trained with our reserves I spoke to our management team to see what his attitude was like, because if he was acting the clown and showing a bad example to the young guys I would have told them to send him home. In fact, it was the opposite,” the Fulham manager revealed.

“He worked his socks off and was helpful to the young guys. He did it right but got an injury, which delayed the move to Tottenham.”

Wayne Routledge moved in the opposite direction to Malbranque in a season-long loan deal.

The winger is, though, likely to have to make do with a place on the bench at Newcastle on Saturday as midfielder Michael Brown looks set to recover from a knee problem.