Manchester City are open to offers for Shaun Wright-Phillips, a player who has started only three games for Roberto Mancini this season and has publicly expressed his disappointment about the club's refusal to grant him a lucrative new contract.
Wright-Phillips's representatives are seeking a deal taking him closer to the £100,000-a-week salary enjoyed by many players signed since the club entered Abu Dhabi ownership. Contract talks have foundered and, despite City's need of home-grown players like Wright-Phillips to meet their Premier League quota, bids will be considered in January. The 29-year-old, who left City for Chelsea for £21m in 2005 and returned for a fee of £9m three years later, has been linked to Liverpool, though that club's new American owners may not relish the idea of a player with such limited potential resale value. Wright-Phillips's current £60,000-a-week deal expires in 2012 and his father, Ian Wright, has been particularly vocal about the year-long extension and £10,000-a-week rise the England midfielder has been offered.
City do not feel Wright-Phillips is a dressing-room agitator, despite his manager's unhappiness with an interview the player gave to The Sun in March, in which he depicted himself as an under-appreciated individual. There is a feeling at Eastlands that he is being badly advised.
Mancini will today publicly address the issue of Carlos Tevez's stay in Argentina, which has been extended because of City's departure to Poland to face Lech Poznan, rather than his inability to fly while suffering a dead leg that is still causing him pain. Tevez's travel to and from Argentina is by private jet, allowing him as much room to stretch and lie down as he wishes, so, contrary to some suggestions, the transit is not a problem.
Tevez was due to have flown to Manchester on Monday but City told him there was no point as the club's medical staff would be departing for Poland today. Tevez's representatives view that as a positive gesture on the club's part and it certainly does not point to grave concerns on Mancini's part about the fitness of his most important player. It is understood that Tevez is desperate to face Manchester United next Wednesday, though City – who will assess him on Friday – will be unwilling to give many clues as to his fitness before then, to retain an element of surprise.
Tevez is under the care of the Argentina national team doctor, who has treated him on City's behalf in the past, and he will now fly back from Argentina tomorrow, arriving later that day or early on Friday, when he will be assessed.
The decision to allow Tevez to leave in the first place is based on personal circumstances which have kept him apart from his two daughters. Tevez and his long-term partner, Vanesa, were separated last spring and she now lives with her parents, which explains why the children remain at such a distance from him. Tevez is very close to his eldest daughter Flopy and has seen very little of the younger child, Katie, whose difficult and premature birth led to another extended absence from the UK for Tevez last season.
Emmanuel Adebayor has insisted that his on-field row with Vincent Kompany at Wolverhampton was perfectly justifiable. "If I have to have arguments with all my team-mates every single weekend in order to help us win the game, I will be doing exactly that and I would want the same in return," he said.
However, Mancini has attempted, via a team meeting, to instill in his players the message that disputes and discontent must not go beyond the walls of the dressing room.