Yoann Gourcuff's three-month injury lay-off has prompted les Gones to dip into the market for a new attacking midfielder, and their former youth product has cropped up as a viable target, according to the club official.
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"The president [Jean-Michel Aulas] has met with him and things will perhaps move forward with Steed."
Malbranque, a former France Under-21 international, is well known to Premier League audiences, having also previously represented Fulham, Tottenham Hotspur and Sunderland in his career.
He returned to France with Saint-Etienne last August, but left the Ligue 1 outfit just a month into his contract by mutual consent.