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Hunger is back at Barca

Barcelona
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By ESPN Staff

Distin set to stay with City

Sylvain Distin will see out the remainder of his contract with Manchester City.

Blues boss Stuart Pearce last night gave the central defender until Thursday evening to decide whether he wished to complete a £4.5million move to Middlesbrough.

And, after another brief conversation with the Teesside outfit, the 28-year-old has decided to stay with the Eastlands outfit, having never really wanted to leave in the first place.

Although it means Distin will enter the final year of his present Blues deal with no agreement on an extension in place, keeping alive the possibility he could leave for nothing next summer, Pearce is bound to welcome the news.

While he understood the financial argument of accepting Boro's bid given Distin's contractual situation, he was also aware the former Newcastle player would be a very difficult man to replace.

Now, he has another nine months to persuade the Frenchman to commit his long-term future to City, while knowing he still has a top class centre-back at his disposal for at least another season.

'You can see by his form and sheer determination that any talks he has had with anyone else have not affected his desire to play for Manchester City,' said Pearce after the goalless draw with Portsmouth.