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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Jan 31, 2007

Man City's Wardle opens wallet for deadline day

Manchester City chairman John Wardle is using his own cash to back Stuart Pearce's deadline-day transfer moves.

Pearce entered the month declaring there was little or no finance available to strengthen his squad.

However, mindful that City are not yet completely clear of the relegation mire and with the clock ticking to the midnight deadline, Wardle has opened his wallet again.

The decision, at a time when some fans have questioned his effectiveness as chairman, emphasises the bond Wardle has for City.

Together with business partner David Makin, Wardle has already ploughed £20million into the Eastlands outfit and by the end of today, the figure will almost certainly have increased.

'As the transfer window has gone on, the chairman has loosened up some of his own finance,' Pearce told the club's official website.

'It is money that wasn't available at the start of it.

'All credit to John, he is drawing not on club money but his own finance.

'However, the rules remain the same because we are still trying to do good, sound business as I don't want to flit away his money. That would not be right.'

With scheduled Premiership opponents Arsenal required to complete their Carling Cup semi-final with Tottenham, City have enjoyed the luxury of a match-free week in which to conclude negotiations.

It promises to be a busy day around the Blues camp, with Michael Ball's loan signing set to be the first of up to four deals that could be confirmed.

Ball has impressed Pearce during a week-long trial at the club and will arrive from PSV Eindhoven, probably on loan, for the remainder of the campaign.

City officials indicated last night only the final stages of the paperwork needed to be completed to conclude the deal, with another, unnamed, loan signing also close to being done.

While Ball will fill the left-sided defensive vacancy created by the departure of Ben Thatcher to Charlton, the search goes on for striking reinforcements.

Mido, Marlon Harewood and Collins John have all been mentioned, with the latter man now emerging as the most likely to end the day in the north-west.

West Ham's out-of-favour defender Paul Konchesky is also being head-hunted, although that deal could flounder on Alan Curbishley's failure to land Matthew Upson from Birmingham.

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