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Distin move not cut and dried?

Despite the club (reluctantly?) accepting a £4.5 million bid for Sylvain Distin yesterday, perhaps a move may not be as inevitable as most reports are suggesting.

Whilst the club certainly had no choice but to accept the offer - one which I believe would represent a good return for a player entering the final year of his contract (and showing no immediate hurry in putting pen to paper), Stuart Pearce has previously stated he would be happy to let Distin run down his contract and remain at the club and reiterated that again today, adding he would not be pushing Distin towards the door:

"At this stage, for financial reasons, I have to offer Sylvain the chance to look elsewhere, but it would not surprise me if he said he wanted to stay, if he sits down with me and says he wants to stay, I would be delighted and I will keep on at him all year to sign a contract extension."

Looking at the facts as they are, we have only received (despite Portsmouth's interest) one firm offer - from Middlesbrough. Much like I wrote after Portsmouth's interest broke I don't necessarily regard Middlesbrough as a step up from the position he is in at City.

Say Distin did move. He would be moving to a club expected to finish mid-table, not playing in European competition, off the France radar, playing under an untested manager and on a contract which surely cannot be a vast raise on the reported £40k on offer from City.

With just a year remaining on his City contract, would he not consider it more beneficial to play out the last year of his deal and next summer re-establish his options where he is more likely to have a greater choice of clubs interested in him, primarily those in European competition and he could land a more substantial contract as he would be moving on a free.

This also then gives him the option of seeing how things progress at City - a club he is settled at, and if he likes the direction Pearce and the club are heading then I cannot imagine City won't have an offer on the table at that point.

Maybe it is more in hope than anything else, and no doubt I'm likely to be proved wrong, but I'm not entirely convinced Distin will choose to move to the Riverside after all.