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Mancini: Wright-Phillips can leave

Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini has admitted it is likely Shaun Wright-Phillips will leave the club in January and claimed the winger has a host of teams on his tail.

• Hammers capture Bridge on loan
• Rovers close in on Santa Cruz
• Johnson eyes loan move
• Craig Bellamy arrested
• Jo to stay at Manchester City

Like a number of talented players in the City squad, Wright-Phillips has struggled to secure regular playing time at Eastlands on account of the embarrassment of riches available to Mancini.

Wayne Bridge joined West Ham on Wednesday evening, while Roque Santa Cruz and Emmanuel Adebayor are others who could be on their way out.

Mancini is sympathetic to the plight of his players and is happy for them to move on if the right deal is presented. Birmingham have been credited with an interest in Wright-Phillips, but Mancini feels there are other clubs, one of which could be Fulham, ahead in the chase.

"Shaun is the same situation like Wayne [Bridge], but we must wait," Mancini said. "Shaun has two or three options. But we want to wait as if we lose three or four players we may not have the players for the rest of the season. I don't know if it will be Birmingham, there are other teams."

Santa Cruz is reported to be close to securing a return to Blackburn and Mancini feels a deal could be struck this week.

"He like all the players he wants to play," Mancini said. "For me it is difficult and I understand the situation. If he has an opportunity to go and play, it is better for them. I hope in one or two days and Roque can go and get games."

Adebayor's situation appears to hinge on whether fellow striker Mario Balotelli will require an operation on his troublesome knee.

"We must wait as Manu is a different situation," Mancini said. "There are a lot of teams that want Manu. At this moment it is better that we wait to see about the Mario situation. We have another 20 days, we must wait."

Meanwhile, Mancini poured cold water on the prospect of making a move for Gareth Bale in the summer.A interview was conducted with the City boss in his native Italy and in the article he lavished praise on the Tottenham winger.

It was subsequently interpreted that Mancini was contemplating a swoop for the Wales international but he has moved to clarify his position - insisting he is not planning any bid for Bale.

"I did an interview with an Italian newspaper," Mancini said. "The journalist asked me about Bale. I said he was a fantastic player and said he has played very well. I never said I wanted to buy him. We are not thinking about that."


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