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50-50: Liverpool vs. Real Madrid

Champions League 1 day ago
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By ESPN Staff
Aug 11, 2006

Pearce happy with Distin deal

Stuart Pearce has admitted he would be happy to see Sylvain Distin enter the final year of his contract without reaching agreement on a new one.

The French defender has so far refused to sign the lucrative extension he was offered at the end of last season, leading to speculation he would quit Eastlands before the transfer deadline.

Portsmouth are one of the clubs believed to be interested in the 29-year-old but City are yet to receive an offer for the defender which gets anywhere near their valuation.

So, as it presently stands, Distin will start the new season with City knowing he could leave on a Bosman in 12 months' time.

However, Pearce is unconcerned.

'Until people meet our valuation of Sylvain, he will stay where he is, which will only benefit me because he is a good player,' said the City boss.

'It would be no skin off my nose if he enters the final year of his contract. I am a football manager, a year is a hell of a long time in football management.'

A day can be a long time at City sometimes and the last 24 hours have certainly been busy around the Blue camp.

Having last night accepted an offer - believed to be about £1million - from Portsmouth for David James, Pearce has already lined up a replacement in Rennes keeper Andreas Isaksson.

The Swedish World Cup keeper has travelled to Manchester for talks over a possible transfer.

Meanwhile, veteran Tunisian full-back Hatem Trabelsi has become Pearce's sixth pre-season signing, having completed his free transfer from Ajax.

Once courted by Manchester United and Arsenal, Trabelsi's ability is not in question but a series of knee injuries has placed a question mark over his durability.

Trabelsi still requires a work permit before officially being unveiled as a City player but Pearce believes his sixth close-season signing represents an astute piece of business.

'He is one of the best Bosmans of the summer,' Pearce told the club's website.

'He has played at the highest level for Ajax, and been to three World Cups.' He captains his country as well, so it is a good CV.

'I have watched him play for Ajax over the last three years and been very impressed with him.

'He is an attacking full-back we're just waiting on that work permit now.'