Belfast Telegraph

Mancini questions Bridge motives

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini has questioned Wayne Bridge's motives for remaining with the Blues.

Loaned out to West Ham for the second-half of last season, Mancini made it perfectly clear Bridge had no future with City. Yet the 31-year-old opted to stick it out at the Etihad Stadium, with no club willing to match the reported £90,000 weekly salary he presently collects.

This season, Bridge has only been called on once and Mancini said: "I don't understand why there are some players that have a chance to go and play, maybe not in the Premier League but in the Championship, and don't."

He added: "I don't know why you would want to stay at a club where you can't play. When we are young and start to play football we don't play for money, we play because we like football. Every player should have this target in mind - to play football.

"Wayne is a good guy, but he had two or three chances in the summer, including Celtic, who are an important team. He trains with us sometimes and sometimes with the young players but I hope, for him, he leaves in January because it's difficult for a player to stay training every day."

Mancini has also confirmed he is fighting a losing battle in his attempts to delay the departure of Yaya and Kolo Toure to the African Nations Cup, with the Ivory Coast dashing hopes to keep the pair until after the trip to Wigan on January 16, just five days before the tournament kicks-off.

Instead, it looks as though they will leave after the FA Cup tie with Manchester United the previous week, which would make them unavailable for the following Wednesday's Carling Cup semi-final first-leg against Liverpool.

Meanwhile, Mancini has also issued a veiled attack on Carlos Tevez's trusted advisor Kia Joorabchian ahead of a meeting between City officials and counterparts at AC Milan on Thursday in a bid to thrash out a transfer.

"We were better with Carlos in the squad because he is a fantastic striker," said Mancini. "I had a good relationship with him and he was always well behaved. I don't know what happened but it was really strange and frustrating."

Asked directly whether Tevez had received some bad advice, Mancini replied: "Yes."


From Belfast Telegraph