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By ESPN Staff

Pearce admits he made a bid for Sidwell

Stuart Pearce will attempt to stop a player he badly wanted to sign at the Madejski Stadium tomorrow believing Reading's refusal to let Steve Sidwell leave offers telling proof of just how talented he is.

So certain did it appear Sidwell would sign for Manchester City this summer, the 23-year-old spoke openly about how much it would mean for him to join the Blues.

Instead, the proposed transfer ground to a halt with Reading refusing to bargain for the player, even though he is now in the final year of his contract.

So, Pearce now finds himself attempting to halt the progress of a player who could yet find his way to Eastlands at some point, although after he has helped Reading try to survive their first Premiership campaign.

'I did bid for Steve,' said the City chief.

'I think it says a lot about how highly Reading regard him that even though he is in the last year of his contract, they continued to say, `No, no, no'.

'I did my homework on him and felt he would be a real asset. But, as with any negotiations, you enter them with your fingers crossed hoping everything goes right.'