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Last Updated: Friday, 18 November 2005, 14:57 GMT
Coleman hopeful over midfield duo
Steed Malbranque
Fulham manager Chris Coleman is confident of keeping midfielders Papa Bouba Diop and Steed Malbranque.

Newcastle are reportedly interested in Diop, while Manchester City have had a 5m bid for Malbranque turned down.

Coleman said: "We've no great worries about Papa. He's two more years left on his deal but we have started talks there's been an encouraging response.

"It is the same with Steed and we're confident he'll put his name to a new deal in the next few weeks."

Despite Coleman's confidence over contract negotiations with Diop and Malbranque the Fulham boss is bracing himself for offers for his leading players during the January transfer window.

Coleman added: "It is four weeks of madness and I don't like it very much.

"We will try to get one or two players in ourselves because we have a pretty thin squad, but it works the other way as well.

"We know there will be plenty of bigger clubs breathing down our necks for our top players and it can be pretty disruptive. I'll be glad when it is over."




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