Tottenham win Steed race
By Paul Higham
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Tottenham have won the race to sign Steed Malbranque from Fulham.
Tottenham have sealed the signing of Steed Malbranque for an undisclosed fee from Fulham, with Spurs winger Wayne Routledge moving to Craven Cottage on loan for the season.
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The French midfielder had been frozen out of the first team picture at Fulham by boss Chris Coleman after refusing to sign a new contract at the club, and he was not given a squad number for the season.
The likes of Bolton, West Ham and Portsmouth were all keen on the Frenchman but Spurs boss Martin Jol has won the race for his signature.
"Steed is a skilful, versatile midfielder of real quality," Jol told the club's website.
"He is a player we have always admired and we are delighted he has come to us, there were a number of other clubs interested. He is a player who can cover the left, centre and right midfield positions and will work well within our system."
Malbranque is currently out of action as a troublesome groin problem will keep him out for up to ten weeks, but he is looking forward to eventually playing at White Hart Lane.
"Tottenham is a big club and it's a fantastic new challenge for me. It's an excellent squad and I'm looking forward to joining," said the former Lyon man.
"I will be working hard on my recovery and rehabilitation in order to be ready to play as soon as possible."
21-year-old winger Wayne Routledge will be moving in the opposite direction as he joins Fulham on a 12-month loan deal.
After joining from Crystal Palace an injury saw Aaron Lennon cement his place on the right wing and Routledge spent last season on loan at Portsmouth after finding chances hard to come by at Spurs.
"I have admired Wayne since he was a youngster at Palace and always thought he had a lot of talent," Coleman told Fulham's website.
"I am glad that we have been able to get him on loan as we needed a quick right sided player to add another dimension to the squad, and Wayne will be hungry to get back into action after he was sidelined at Spurs after his injury, so I'm delighted he'll be joining us."
Routledge admitted that he was becoming frustrated with life on the bench at Spurs and is just desperate to sample more first team football.
"Obviously it was a blow for me to get injured as soon as I joined Spurs and it's been frustrating since regaining fitness to not be able to break back into the team," said Routledge.
"This is a great opportunity to get back into first team football, and especially as it is with a club whose footballing style I have always liked.
"So I'm happy and confident that I will enjoy my time here and look forward to training with the lads later this week."