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By ESPN Staff

City boss Pearce still chasing four new signings

Manchester City boss Stuart Pearce is still hopeful of adding another four players to his squad before the transfer window shuts next week.

Although the Blues chief had intended completing all his business at the start of the month, so far Pearce has only managed to secure Spanish winger Albert Riera on loan from Espanyol until the end of the season.

A big money deal to land young Greek striker Georgios Samaras from Heerenveen is unlikely to be concluded until next week at the earliest, while efforts to land Shrewsbury `keeper Joe Hart and Southampton defender Matthew Mills have not yet proved fruitful.

In addition, Pearce lodged his interest in another potential loan signing on Monday, but knows time is running out if deals are to be done.

'Talks are ongoing with three players and we have made an inquiry about another,' Pearce told the club website,

'It would be nice to get all four in but the problems we have with regard to contracts and various to-ing and fro-ing between clubs ensure that we won't get these done very quickly.

'For various reasons, things are taking a little longer than I thought they would but we are still hopeful.'

Pearce had been linked with strikers Dean Ashton and Marcus Bent but they have now joined West Ham and Charlton respectively.

However, the former England skipper, who last week distanced himself from talk of taking over as national coach in the immediate future, is adamant no deal has yet been done he wishes he had been involved in.

He said: 'When I look around the Premiership and look at teams in direct comparison to us and look at the players they are bringing in, I have to say to myself 'would that player have benefited us'.

'There aren't too many where I think 'I wish we had him'. As long as I can keep saying that I haven't a problem.'

City officials remain relaxed about the prospect of Pearce being approached to be part of the England set-up following Eriksson's departure, feeling their manager did as much as he could to distance himself from the job with his forthright observations last week.

Neither do they envisage the possibility of Pearce having time to take on extra coaching work, given the dedication with which he undertakes his duties at City.

The Blues, who face Carling Cup finalists Wigan in the FA Cup on Saturday, have also rejected talk that star midfielder Joey Barton has snubbed a `double-your-money' £30,000-a-week deal, insisting contract talks with the former England Under-21 player have not even opened yet.

In addition, they report no contact from Lyon over skipper Sylvain Distin, who is rumoured to be a potential target for Gerard Houllier.