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Dec 21, 2011

Mancini questions Bridge motives

Roberto Mancini has urged outcast defender Wayne Bridge to put football before his bank balance and leave Manchester City to continue his career elsewhere.

• Mancini rules out Milan loan for Tevez
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Loaned out to West Ham for the second-half of last season, Mancini made it perfectly clear Bridge had no future with City. Yet the 31-year-old opted to stick it out at Eastlands, with no club willing to match the reported £90,000 weekly salary he presently collects.

This season, Bridge has only been called on once, for the Carling Cup tie against Birmingham in September, and he has fallen so far down the pecking order there was not even a chance of a place on the bench for Sunday's win over Arsenal despite fellow full-backs Gael Clichy and Aleksandar Kolarov being ruled out.

"I don't understand why there are some players that have a chance to go and play, maybe not in the Premier League but in the Championship, and don't,'' said Mancini, ahead of Wednesday's Premier League encounter with Stoke.

"I don't know why you would want to stay at a club where you can't play. When we are young and start to play football we don't play for money, we play because we like football. Every player should have this target in mind - to play football.

"Wayne is a good guy, but he had two or three chances in the summer, including Celtic, who are an important team.

"He trains with us sometimes and sometimes with the young players but I hope, for him, he leaves in January because it's difficult for a player to stay training every day.''

Bridge, who joined City in a £10 million move from Chelsea in 2009, has also rejected moves to Turkey and Russia and when Mancini was asked by a journalist from The Guardian what the former England player did on his average Saturday, the City boss replied: "I don't know. Golf?"

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