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Wenger's blueprint to beat City

By ESPN Staff

Hamann poised to sign, but City lose BWP

Manchester City are poised to complete the signing of veteran midfielder Dietmar Hamann.

City manager Stuart Pearce, who on Wedneday bid farewell to Bradley Wright-Phillips with the young striker joining Southampton, has moved for Hamann following the collapse of his proposed switch to Bolton.

Wanderers manager Sam Allardyce was on the brink of signing Liverpool's former Germany international until the 32-year-old stalled, claiming his wife was against the transfer.

Allardyce then pulled out, leaving Pearce to step in, with the hope now Hamann will sign a two-year contract before the weekend.

If Hamann puts pen to paper he will become Pearce's third major signing of the summer following the capture of Ousmane Dabo from Lazio and Paul Dickov from Blackburn.

Pearce, meanwhile, believes Wright-Phillips' departure to the St Mary's Stadium represents good business for City, with the 21-year-old signing a three-year contract.

It is believed City will net £1million from the deal due to add-on clauses, although a substantial down-payment has been paid, with £250,000 of the cash supplied by the `Coca-Cola Win A Player Promotion'.

Saints won the cash courtesy of lifelong-fan Chantelle Legg, allowing them to fund a deal for Wright-Phillips, younger brother of Shaun who last summer joined Chelsea for £21million.

With the recent arrival of Paul Dickov, and with Andy Cole, Darius Vassell and Georgios Samaras ahead of him in the pecking order, Wright-Phillips would have found himself fifth-choice forward for the coming season at City.

'Commercially, this is a good deal for the club but also for Bradley at this stage in his career,' commented Pearce.

'Like his brother, he was a popular member of the squad and an extremely likeable lad. As with Shaun, he will always be welcome back at this club.'

Another player expected to be shown the door at Eastlands is Joey Barton, who continues to stall on the signing of a new contract, and with just one year remaining on his current deal.

With no sign of any commitment from the 23-year-old, and in light of Hamann's impending arrival, it is believed Pearce is ready to listen to offers.

Rumours of a swap deal involving Celtic's wantaway star Stilian Petrov, however, have been stringently denied by Bhoys chief executive Peter Lawwell who said: 'Accusations we have contacted Manchester City offering Stilian are completely false.

'We wish Stilian to remain at the club and this story is totally inaccurate.'