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Manchester City Set To Release England International This Summer

by Chris Smith

Owen Hargreaves, Manchester City

Manchester City have confirmed that they will not be offering midfielder Owen Hargreaves a new contract when his current pay-as-you-play deal runs out this summer…

Owen Hargreaves will not be offered a new deal by Manchester City at the end of the season, a decision that casts doubt over the midfielder’s long-term future in the game in light of the injuries that have wrecked his recent career.

Hargreaves is on a pay-as-you-play contract at City, which ends at the close of the season.

Source: The Guardian

The decision will cast doubts over the long-term future of the former Manchester United player following a series of serious injuries over the past five seasons.

The England international was signed as a free agent by Mancini last summer following his release by neighbors Manchester United after four injury plagued seasons for the Red Devils.

Hargreaves had considered retiring from football before signing for City due to the knee injury that had limited him to just 18 league starts for Manchester United following his 2007 move from German side Bayern Munich.

And since moving to Manchester City, the Canadian born player has featured just four times, with one of those appearances coming in the league as a 77th minute substitute against Aston Villia in October.

He has suffered a series of niggling injuries since joining City and has not played senior football since the 3–2 FA Cup defeat to United in January.

In February Mancini admitted the club had taken a chance in signing him. “We took a gamble on Owen because he was such a fantastic player. We thought we could try to get him fit in two or three months and then he would be able to play. But it hasn’t worked out quite like that. When you have a player who hasn’t played for two years and he starts to train every day there are small problems all the time. Problems in the knees or the hamstrings. So Owen hasn’t been able to play when we have needed him,” reports the Guardian.

“He may play again this season but he is not ready now. I hope eventually he will be able to play all the time. He deserves to, because he is a really nice guy.”

Being just 31 years of age, Hargreaves still has what it takes to perform at the highest level and may feel that a move to a smaller club is what he needs to resurrect his footballing career.

Before he moved to City last summer, the player considered a move to Roy Hodgson’s West Brom before deciding to give it one last shot at the big time.

The England international was the country’s best player at the 2006 World Cup in Germany and is no stranger to glory, boasting two Champions League titles, Bundesliga titles and Premier League titles to his name.

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