As we head to the final stages of the season, now that our Premiership status is all but secured attention will now begin to turn towards potential offseason moves.
Stuart Pearce has indicated that new deals (quite rightly so) will be offered to current short-term signings Michael Ball and Emile Mpenza - hopefully this will fend off any potential suitors for the pair, and the future of Sylvain Distin will again come under the microscope.
I don't think there can be any argument that the club should pull out all the stops to ensure that Distin is re-signed on at least a minimum three year deal. Distin has once again been outstanding alongside Richard Dunne, and their partnership is amongst the best pairing in the league and testament to this is our excellent defensive record (given our league position) this season.
Distin has long claimed that money isn't the issue, and an interview surfaced with Sky Sports where he hasn't ruled out the possibility of re-signing with the club:
It does appear that nothing will be decided before the end of the season and this one could drag on into the summer - perhaps even after his contract expires and he becomes a 'free agent'. One factor that I have always thought in our favour is it doesn't appear to be solely a money issue, and a lot could come down to which clubs make him an offer.
"I am 29 and I have ambitions, I don't want to be
fighting against relegation every season".
"I want to enjoy my football and
I need the club to invest in players and try to push forward.
"I have had
the opportunity to move away every season. If money was my top priority I would
have been at another club by now.
"It is not about how much you spend on
players - Newcastle have spent a lot of money on players and they don't succeed
any more than us.
"It is about the quality of the players and how long the
players stay at the club. That is important.
"In five years here I have seen
a lot of good players coming and going. Maybe that also means something.
could speak to the manager about players but what is he going to say? We are
going to get Ronaldinho?
"Actions speak louder than words. We shall just see
what is going to happen."
Distin has also sought to underline his commitment
to the club despite the ongoing uncertainty regarding his future.
"I have a
strong feeling for Manchester City. Apart from Richard Dunne and Nicky Weaver,
no-one currently here has played the same amount of games as I
Last summer he turned down both Middlesbrough and Portsmouth, believing they weren't either a big enough club or could offer the ambition at City. This season Fulham have been linked with him, but again this would surely be a sideways move (at best).
My gut feeling is that Distin will end up re-signing with the club, however I am realistic enough to know that if a Champions League side comes calling, then Distin will more than likely be packing his bags and heading out of Manchester.