Malbranque rumours rubbished
Representatives of Steed Malbranque have refuted claims the St Etienne midfielder has retired in order to look after an ill family member.
Last Updated: 05/09/11 8:58pm
Representatives of Steed Malbranque have refuted claims that the St Etienne midfielder has retired in order to look after an ill family member.
Reports in France over the weekend, which have since been repeated in Britain, suggested that the 31-year-old former Fulham, Tottenham and Sunderland winger had quit after learning that his young son was suffering from cancer.
But in a statement released by solicitors working on the instruction of Malbranque's agent, Sebastien Boisseau, it has been made clear that the Frenchman does not have a son and that no member of his immediate family is in ill health.
"Steed has read with concern the recent stories currently circulating about him and his family," read the statement which was issued by London-based solicitors Thomas Cooper.
"He would like to reassure all of his friends in England and throughout world football that these stories are wholly without foundation.
"Steed does not have a son and his immediate family are all in good health.
"Steed does not know the origin of these stories but would like to stress that they are without merit.
"He trusts that they will now cease immediately."
Malbranque's switch to St Etienne in August ended a 10-year stay in English football, during which time he made a total of 336 Premier League appearances.
After impressing at Lyon following his debut for the club in 1998, Malbranque secured a move to Fulham in 2001 and went on to make over 200 appearances for the West London club.
Malbranque transferred to Tottenham in the summer of 2006, going on to make over 60 appearances, before joining Sunderland in 2008.