City Release Lescott, Barry, Pantilimon; Offers Made To Boyata And Wright

Chris Brunskill

Eight players in total released by the Premier League Champions.

Costel Pantilimon was the surprise name on the list of players released by City at the season end.

All clubs have to provide details to the Premier League of the players retained and released by the third Saturday in May and the Romanian keeper featured alongside a mix of some less surprising names and younger players the club have decided to cut ties with.

The eight players showing as released are Thomas Agyiri, Gareth Barry, Alex Henshall, Kieran Kennedy, Joleon Lescott, Pantilimon, George Swan and Alex Nimely.

Both Barry and Lescott were previously confirmed as departing the club in the summer whilst Nimely was at one time a highly regarded prospect. Both Henshall and Swan were at one time plucked away from lower league Academies at a young age.

All players listed being as released can of course be re-signed by the club, but in the case of Pantilimon it is worth noting that no offer has been made to him, as is the case with Dedryck Boyata and Richard Wright (who has gone almost three-years without making an appearance) - both valuable in terms of being classified as home-grown by the UEFA definition. A further offer has also been made to youngster Jordi Hiwula who has at times shone for City's Academy sides.

Having had an opportunity when he stepped in to replace the beleagured Joe Hart earlier in the season Pantilimon has perhaps finally accepted that he will not progress beyond his role as a back-up and is now seeking fresh pastures. It does leave City in an intriguing position with a decision as to whether to sign a back-up to Hart or put their faith in Hart's performance to the extent that they go with Wright as the de facto back-up and promote a young keeper such as Ian Lawlor on the depth chart.

Both Barry and Lescott will be expected to receive plenty of interest from clubs both in the Premier League and beyond upon their release.

Links are as follows to the Premier League retained list and free transfer list in pdf format.

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