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Mancienne monitored by rivals


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Times

Liverpool and City may try to lure versatile Michael Mancienne

Having a ball: Mancienne is getting his chance under Fabio Capello after impressing in the England Under-21 side

Liverpool and Manchester City are monitoring the progress of Michael Mancienne with a view to making a transfer bid. The Chelsea defender’s contract expires at the end of next season and both clubs are considering attempting to lure him from Stamford Bridge in the summer with the promise of more regular football.

Mancienne, 21, is due to hold contract talks with Chelsea at the end of the season, but it is by no means certain that he will commit his future to a club he joined at the age of 12. He has been frustrated at his limited opportunities since returning from a loan spell at Wolverhampton Wanderers in January, but he has fared better since Guus Hiddink was appointed interim manager last month and is grateful for the faith shown in him by the Dutchman.

After being ignored by Luiz Felipe Scolari, Mancienne made his Chelsea debut in the FA Cup fifth-round tie away to Watford — when Hiddink had a watching brief in the stands — and did well enough to start the Barclays Premier League match against Wigan Athletic a fortnight later, in between coming on as a substitute for the final nine minutes of the first leg of the Champions League first knockout round tie against Juventus at Stamford Bridge, when he proved his versatility by playing in midfield.

Although he will remain with the first-team squad, Mancienne’s opportunities are likely to be limited for the rest of the season because Ricardo Carvalho has returned to full fitness, which could convince him that the time is right to move on. Mancienne is concerned that a lack of first-team football could cost him a place in the England Under-21 squad for this summer’s European Championship finals despite playing an integral part in their qualifying campaign. Stuart Pearce, the head coach, has made it clear that he will only pick players who are performing regularly.

Mancienne will listen to Chelsea’s plans for him in the summer but will take an open-minded approach to other offers, particularly those from high-profile Premier League clubs.

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Dont worry he'll remain Samsunged unless Abramovich has another fit of pique, and fancies a ready made star studded 30 something midfield with the likes of Ronaldinho etc because his investments have suddenly shot up again. Highly unlikely. It would be weird if no clubs were watching him.

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