Could this Premier League talent be just what the Emirates has been crying out for?
Roberto Mancini’s problems with his Manchester City players have extended to Shaun Wright-Phillips after the England international turned down a new contract because he felt he was not being offered enough money, a development that has left the winger starting to begrudge the men in power at Eastlands.
Wright-Phillips, 28, will have two years to run on his £60,000-a-week contract at the end of the season but that deal was signed a few weeks before the Abu Dhabi United Group’s takeover established a new pay ceiling at the club. This will be the last major contract of Wright-Phillips’s career and he wants to take advantage of the immense riches available to the club by moving closer to the higher earners such as Emmanuel Adebayor, Kolo Touré and Carlos Tevez, all of whom earn in excess of £100,000 a week.
City have responded by telling him they have no intention of increasing his pay so significantly, on the basis he will be 30 when his contract expires, an age that counts against any player who relies so heavily on pace. There is also a disparity between the length of deal the player is craving and what the club’s chief executive, Garry Cook, and football administrator, Brian Marwood, are willing to offer.
That has left the Wright-Phillips camp complaining that the City hierarchy seem more interested in rewarding new signings rather than players who have a genuine affinity with the club. Since Wright-Phillips rejoined City from Chelsea 18 months ago he has seen players such as Wayne Bridge, with a weekly salary of £90,000, join on higher wages and is said not to feel “appreciated”. In that time he has earned in excess of £4.5m.
Mancini has not been involved in the negotiations but the dispute can be added to a number of problems for the City manager, ranging from Patrick Vieira’s poor form and discipline to the much-publicised argument with Craig Bellamy and growing concerns about Stephen Ireland’s level of performance. (Guardian)
For some reason, and not just because of his parentage, I have always thought of Shaun Wright-Phillips as a player who looked like a Gooner in the wrong shirt. A player who has all the attributes that would make him an excellent Emirates capture and perhaps now would be the right time to attempt to bring the Manchester City player to the club?
Currently a little annoyed at not being one of Eastlands big earners the England winger could be persuaded to move back down to London to join the side his father was obviously a hero at. Yes we could find it hard to offer him the kind of money he is trying to get from his club but it seems his demands at his current club are simply to do with him not feeling that he is getting paid a similar wage to those around him, as opposed to him just being simply greedy.
Maybe he would also see a move to a Champions League competing side would be a step up, which obviously it would be. We can offer the speed merchant a shot at big silverware whereas Man City can only offer the chance further down the road of doing so, but lets face it endless bags of cash doesn’t guarantee success.
We obviously have a great many attacking midfield options but perhaps a player like Wright-Phillips is what we need to unlock defences in a more direct fashion. Instead of trying to thread the eye of a needle we can instead look to hand the ball to a player with pace who can beat players with the ball, something we are all hopeful Theo Walcott could do on a more regular basis. He cost City just £9m a year and half ago and would presumably not have increased in value and would therefore represent a pretty good value for money signing.
Clearly relations between our two clubs may be an obstacle but if Mancini gets tired of Shaun’s demands he may just give up and let him leave and if that is so then I think Arsene Wenger would do well to monitor the situation as he could well be a good Emirates acquisition.