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Is a title challenge possible for Man Utd?

Manchester United
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By ESPN Staff

Pearce joins queue to sign Wright-Phillips

Stuart Pearce has admitted he would be interested in bringing Shaun Wright-Phillips back to Manchester City.

The England winger left the Blues for Chelsea in a club record £21million deal 16 months ago but has failed to establish himself at Stamford Bridge.

Wright-Phillips did not even make the bench for Sunday's 1-1 draw with Manchester United and last week, Chelsea chief executive Peter Kenyon dropped the first hint the Premiership champions would be interested in letting the 25-year-old leave after revealing West Ham had inquired about him.

And Pearce has now confirmed if Chelsea give the green light for Wright-Phillips' departure, he intends to be in the queue to get him.

'If a price was set and Chelsea were prepared to sell him, just think what a big lift it would give everyone here for Shaun to walk back through the door,' said Pearce.

'You would have to go some to have a combination of Shaun and Micah (Richards) playing on the same side of the pitch.

'The question is whether Chelsea would want to sell him, after that it is something for our board to decide.'

Pearce has twice tried to lure Wright-Phillips back to Eastlands on loan but there has to be a major doubt over whether City could come up with the kind of cash Chelsea would be looking for if they do decide to sell.

In all other aspects though, the deal would be perfect given the admiration City fans still hold for Wright-Phillips, the first member of the Blues academy to make it into the England fold.

And, while his time at Chelsea has been tortuous, culminating in his failure to win a place in Sven-Goran Eriksson's World Cup squad, Pearce is confident he could quickly rediscover the form which got him his move south in the first place.

'I have no doubt about that,' he said.

'He is a very level-headed lad. He is the same kid he was when he first broke into the Manchester City team some years ago.'

Meanwhile Claudio Reyna has dismissed speculation he will leave City and return to the United States during the January transfer window.

The veteran midfielder, who has had spells with Rangers and Sunderland, has long claimed an intention to spend the latter stages of his career in the burgeoning Major League Soccer competition.

Reyna, 33, is in the final year of his current contract and although he remains a regular member of Stuart Pearce's preferred starting line-up, at least two MLS outfits have been in contact inquiring about his services for next season.

However Reyna, who starred in four World Cup finals for his country and captained them in Germany last summer, insists he is going nowhere.

'Those rumours start about any American player once they hit my age, but I am not sure where they are coming from,' he told the club's website.

'It is just natural, there are clubs back home that are interested but at the moment there is nothing to it.'

After starting in a new-look midfield including Richards, at Liverpool on Saturday, Reyna is expected to keep his place as City look to secure their first away win of the season at Aston Villa on Wednesday.