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Tuesday, 31 July, 2001, 19:58 GMT 20:58 UK
Fulham must wait on Malbranque
Steed Malbranque in action for Lyon
Lyon were reluctant to part with the young midfielder
Lyon midfielder Steed Malbranque's 4.5m move to Fulham has been postponed because paperwork in France has taken longer than expected to complete.

The France Under-21 star was expected to be confirmed as a Fulham player on Tuesday, but the Cottagers insist that the deal will still go through.

Fulham spokeswoman Sarah Brookes said: "We have come to an agreement in principle with Lyon and an agreement in principle over personal terms.

"It will probably be (confirmed) later in the week now. We're still waiting for some administrative work to be done in Lyon."

Malbranque has agreed personal terms with Fulham coach Jean Tigana and underwent a medical on Tuesday.

Malbranque came through the Lyon youth system and was part of the France team that finished second in the 1996 Under-16 European Championship.

He became a regular in the Lyon side in the 1998-99 season and is under contract with the club until June 2003.

Malbranque was also a target for Arsenal three years ago, but turned down the opportunity of a move to Highbury.

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