Pint sized Manchester City winger Shaun Wright-Phillips has dropped significantly down the pecking order at the City of Manchester Stadium, and he may exit the club on loan at the very least during the transfer window.
Who? Shaun Wright-Phillips, adopted son of Ian Wright, brother of Bradley, and once very exciting winger. The 29 year old is a bit of a legend at Eastlands following his first spell at the club and his return return from Chelsea in 2008 was met with much delight. However since then his performances have been below average to say the least and he’s now more known for running into a brick walls than anything else.
Is he available? You would think so given the infrequency of his appearances so far this season. Wright-Phillips has started just three league games this season, though he has featured prominently in the cup competitions. No City fan wants to see a former great decline before their very eyes and most would be happy to see SWP head for pastures new for a second time. Roberto Mancini is slowly but surely weeding out the ‘old guard’ at City, with Wayne Bridge and Roque Santa Cruz gone to West Ham and Blackburn Rovers until the end of the season respectively and rumours about Emmanuel Adebayor and Shay Given amongst others still doing the rounds.
Who wants him? Both Newcastle United and Fulham have been mentioned, with the player’s agent confirming their interest. “My understanding is that Fulham have made an enquiry for Shaun, as have Newcastle,” he said. “There are two other clubs also showing an interest, one loan and one permanent.”. It is believed that the England international, who has 36 caps to his name, would favour a reunion with former City boss Mark Hughes at Craven Cottage. Bolton Wanderers boss Owen Coyle has played down reports linking his side with a bid.
How much would he go for? At this stage any deal is likely to be a loan one as Wright-Phillips is contracted to City until the summer of 2012 and would still command a reasonable transfer fee. If he were to leave City permanently during the transfer window, a fee of £5 million would be reasonable to expect. There’s no question that SWP can still do a job in the Premier League, but with David Silva, Adam Johnson, Mario Balotelli, Carlos Tevez, Edin Dzeko and (unbelievably) Jo Silva ahead of him in the pecking order for a starting berth in Mancini’s front three, a permanent deal is more a case of when not if.