Manchester city have revealed that they will not be offering a new contract to former Manchester United midfielder Owen Hargreaves, who has been part of the title winning team this season.
Manchester city stunned the Premier league world by announcing the signing of Owen Hargreaves this season in order to make up for the lack of quality defensive midfielders at the club. It was a strange decision by Manchester city given that Hargreaves was just released from Manchester United after failing to recover from his injury problems.
The Canadian born England international has suffered a number of knee injuries in recent seasons, which has limited him to a handful of starts in the last few years.
It was quite clearly a gamble by Roberto Mancini to take on Hargreaves into the squad. He has played just four matches for City this season. It is now expected that the midfielder will announce his retirement from the game after failing to make any progress in the last three years to come back fit. The midfielder was a £ 17 million signing from Bayern Munich for Manchester United a few years ago. He made a just 18 league starts for Manchester United in three seasons before moving on.
“We took a gamble on Owen because he was such a fantastic player. We thought we could try to get him fit in two or three months and then he would be able to play. But it hasn’t worked out quite like that. When you have a player who hasn’t played for two years and he starts to train every day there are small problems all the time. Problems in the knees or the hamstrings. So Owen hasn’t been able to play when we have needed him,” said Roberto Mancini regarding the decision on Owen Hargreaves.
Owen Hargreaves was released from his contract by Manchester United last year after he suffered a number of injuries which restricted his abilities on the field.
This gave a chance for Manchester City to scoop up the talented youngster for itself. This was a calculated gamble by the City management as Hargreaves was an influential player for club as well as country.
But their plan didn’t work out as planned and he only made 4 appearances for the club, in which he scored only once. According to City management, they had hoped that they would be able to get him match-ready in a couple of weeks but after a hiatus of nearly two years, small problems kept cropping up.
As City aren’t expected to renew their contract with the English midfielder after his injuries, the rumor mills are abuzz with gossip that he might be moving to Reading on a loan.
Reading is a lower division club and because of the lesser pressure, Hargreaves could return to match-ready health quite soon. Getting a player from the most respected league in the country might seem very ambitious for a second division club, but a similar deal was almost finalized with another player from Robert Mancini’s side.
This, therefore, might not be very far-fetched. Another reason that Brian McDermott, the side’s manager, could be looking to get Hargreaves on board is that Mikele Leigterwood has had a recurring thigh problem.
A number of people, however, aren’t convinced that Reading can afford the high wages of the Canadian-born midfielder. These people believe that Hargreaves will be taken on by Reading in a pay-as-you-play scheme. This would be beneficial to the club, as they would have to pay less money; it would also benefit Hargreaves giving him more incentive to get back into shape soon and play more matches.