Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini to sell Shaun Wright-Phillips and Wayne Bridge
Roberto Mancini, the Manchester City manager, has lost patience with Shaun Wright-Phillips and Wayne Bridge and is likely to sell them in the January transfer window.
Mancini, who is set to include both players in his squad for for the Europa League clash with Lech Poznan on Thursday, is determined to impose his own personality on his squad.
Both Wright-Phillips and Bridge, signed for a combined £21m by previous manager Mark Hughes, have failed to convince Mancini that they are prepared to buy into his methods and approach.
City were prepared to offer Wright-Phillips, 29, a new four-year contract this year, but the England midfielder rejected the terms on offer, with his adoptive father, Ian Wright, accusing the club of “mugging him off”. With Wright-Phillips’s £60,000-a-week contract due to expire in June 2012, City are prepared to sell him.
Despite starting the opening game of the season at Tottenham, Wright-Phillips has made just three Premier League appearances this term and has not started a league fixture since the 1-1 draw with Blackburn on Sept 11.
The emergence of Adam Johnson, and versatility of James Milner and David Silva, has reduced Wright-Phillips’s involvement. Liverpool are keen to sign Wright-Phillips and Blackburn are also likely to be interested should the takeover by Indian company Venky’s go through, so City are hopeful of recouping at least half of the £9m they paid Chelsea for him in August 2008.
City are resigned to making a significant loss on Bridge, who has done little to justify his £12m transfer fee since arriving from Chelsea in January 2009.
Although the 30 year-old has been hampered by injury, plus the distraction last season caused by allegations that his former partner had an affair with John Terry, Bridge’s form has been poor.
Mancini’s public support for the player during the Terry saga has not been repaid with performances on the pitch and, despite summer signing Aleksandr Kolarov being sidelined with an ankle injury since the opening weekend of the season, Bridge has made only one start in the league this season.
Joleon Lescott and Pablo Zabaleta have been selected ahead of Bridge and Mancini has made it clear that the former England defender faces an uphill battle to reclaim a first-team place.
With Bridge having almost 2½ years to run on his £90,000-a-week contract, City are bracing themselves for a financial hit on the player.
But having fallen to fourth choice left-back at Eastlands, Bridge faces an extended period on the sidelines if he fails to secure a move in January.
Mario Balotelli suffered a thigh strain in training on Tuesday and is a doubt for the clash against Lech Poznan.