Mancienne returns to Wolves for third spell

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The Independent Online

Michael Mancienne admits that the influence on his development of the Wolverhampton manager, Mick McCarthy, and a thirst for first-team football persuaded him to rejoin the club for a third loan spell.

The Chelsea utility player and former England Under-21 international has linked up with Wolves until the end of the current campaign, having previously had spells at Molineux in the Championship during 2008-09 and then last season on their return to the Premier League.

The 22-year-old was also linked with a move to West Ham United and Newcastle united before committing himself to Wanderers.

"It didn't look like anything was going to happen with Chelsea and I want to play," Mancienne said yesterday. "Wolves have been very good to me in the past and I'm delighted to be back. It feels like I'm coming back home and I'm really looking forward to the season. There were other alternatives, but the gaffer here has been really good to me and had faith in me and helped me improve my game. That played a big part in my decision."

McCarthy preferred to sign Mancienne for a further loan spell rather than pay Chelsea in region of £4m-£5m. He said: "We know Michael's quality and it's great to have him back. He's very versatile and can operate in different positions."

The Wolves chief executive, Jez Moxey, admitted: "We did speak to Chelsea about a permanent deal but it was decided the best course of action was another season-long loan. Michael was happy to do that and, although he had other alternatives, decided to come back to Wolves."

Mancienne initially went to Wolves as a central defender but last season also operated in a holding midfield role, making a total of 33 appearances for the club, and is expected to go straight into the squad to face Newcastle at home tomorrow.

Wolves' talented goalkeeper Matt Murray has been forced to announce his retirement from professional football at the age of 29 because of injury.

The former England Under-21 player has been dogged by setbacks throughout his career and has now given up hope of recovering sufficiently from rupturing a patella tendon while loaned out to Hereford in 2008 to be able to play at the highest level. However, the club are not ruling out the possibility of Murray returning to Molineux in "some capacity".

Solihull-born Murray told McCarthy and chief executive Moxey of his decision to quit yesterday morning. "After a long and arduous road to try and get back to fitness after rupturing his patella tendon, Murray has, at the age of 29, decided he will not be able to recover to the standard required for the professional game," the Wolves webiste announced. "It goes without saying that everyone connected with Wolves wishes Matt all the best wherever his career takes him, which could yet see him return to Molineux in some capacity."

McCarthy paid tribute to Murray, saying: "It's a sad day when anyone has to retire, even more so when it's a 29-year-old goalkeeper that, in my opinion, would have been one of the England regulars had he been fit.

"That only compounds the feelings of disappointment and sorrow we all feel for him. He's worked so hard to come back from all his injuries. Despite all the knockbacks, despite being told it was three months and then six months out, he has fought and fought, tooth and nail, and worked as hard as anybody I have seen.

"It's finished off with disappointment, but through it all he has never once let his demeanour slip into anything other than Matt Murray, that nice big fellow that he is. His personality and his smile have never wavered. It's a sad day and I'd just like to thank him for everything he has done for this club."

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