Pearce near two-year deal

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The Independent Football

Manchester City are preparing to name Stuart Pearce as their permanent manager this week, but the club has denied reports that they are to be the subject of a takeover bid by the former Formula One executive, Eddie Jordan.

Manchester City are preparing to name Stuart Pearce as their permanent manager this week, but the club has denied reports that they are to be the subject of a takeover bid by the former Formula One executive, Eddie Jordan.

Pearce, who recently became the first City manager to win the Premiership's manager of the month award, will be offered a two-year deal by the board which reflects the club's new, financially cautious approach to contract negotiations.

While the board was genuinely prepared to consider other candidates after Kevin Keegan's departure in March, Pearce's seven-match unbeaten run has convinced directors to give him the job permanently.

Although City's £62m debts are a barrier to major investment in the transfer market, the repayments remain at manageable levels and the club will try to give Pearce some resources to buy players this summer. The wage bill will be eased by the retirement of Steve McManaman and the departure of the Dutchman Paul Bosvelt, who earns £1m a year, to Heerenveen this summer.

City are releasing the goalkeeper Kevin Stuhr- Ellegaard but are confident that Shaun Wright-Phillips will stay for at least another season after signing a new improved deal this season. Club sources say that the England international has no short-term ambition to leave the club and has a good relationship with Pearce.

Reports that Jordan, and the former Coventry City chairman Bryan Richardson, are poised to make a bid for the club have been dismissed. In order to do so they would have to negotiate a deal with the present chairman, John Wardle, who, with loans of £18m to City, has given no indication that he wants to leave.

The announcement on Pearce's new contract could come before the last game of the season at home to Middlesbrough on Sunday.

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