Saint-Etienne announced today that they have agreed to cancel Steed Malbranque's contract after he said he no longer wished to play for the club due to personal problems.
The 31-year-old midfielder joined the French side from English team Sunderland in August. Having ruled himself out of Saint-Etienne's Ligue 1 match at Sochaux on 28 August, he is believed to be contemplating retirement.
Malbranque began his professional career with Lyon before leaving France for England in the summer of 2001 when he joined Fulham.
He subsequently joined Tottenham Hotspur and then Sunderland, playing a total of more than 300 league games in the English top flight.
A Saint-Etienne statement said: "At a meeting held Monday night between the management of AS Saint-Etienne and Steed Malbranque, both parties have decided, by mutual agreement, to amicably end their collaboration.
"This choice is his alone and ASSE fully respects Steed's will. The management of AS Saint-Etienne would like to wish Steed the best in his choices and his future life."