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I knew my time would come: Rahul Bheke

India
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By ESPN Staff

Mpenza to seal permanent City contract

Emile Mpenza is on the brink of completing a permanent move to Manchester City.

The Belgian striker was snapped up on a short-term contract by Blues boss Stuart Pearce in February following the cancellation of the 28-year-old's lucrative deal to play in Qatar.

After the woeful performances of Georgios Samaras and Bernardo Corradi, Mpenza has already become a firm favourite with the City support.

Even though the former Hamburg and Schalke hit-man has only scored twice in his six appearances so far, the goals brought City valuable away wins at Newcastle and Middlesbrough, which have helped ease the Eastlands outfit away from relegation trouble.

Mpenza's performances have already attracted interest from elsewhere, with Scottish giants Rangers among the clubs being linked to the forward.

However, while he accepts he could earn more money elsewhere, Mpenza is happy to confirm his intention to remain with City.

'In my mind, I am already with City,' he told the Manchester Evening News. 'Only the fine details need to be sorted out now.

'It is not about money, otherwise I would have stayed in Qatar. I will never forget that is was City and Stuart Pearce who gave me my chance in England.

'If it was up to me, I would sign for five or six years. I like the city, the team and the coach. He saw me twice and he showed faith in me. I want to repay that.'

Mpenza is a certain starter tomorrow against Liverpool when City look to break an unhappy sequence of not scoring a Premiership goal on home soil since New Year's Day.

Despite that run, Pearce's men have still collected 10 points from their last four games, pushing them up to 12th in the table.

Now virtually safe, Pearce could be forgiven for breathing a heavy sigh of relief after the pressure he has been under for most of 2007 so far.

However, the former England skipper is demanding more, branding City's present position as unacceptable.

'If you ask me whether we are in a league position I will find acceptable if that is where we end up, the answer is no,' he said.

'For me to start turning around and make noises about being safe would send out a message that our season is finished - and it is far from that.'