The Guardian are reporting an impasse over the contract negotiations with Shaun Wrihgt-Phillips:
Wright-Phillips, 28, will have two years to run on his £60,000-a-week contract at the end of the season but that deal was signed a few weeks before the Abu Dhabi United Group's takeover established a new pay ceiling at the club. This will be the last major contract of Wright-Phillips's career and he wants to take advantage of the immense riches available to the club by moving closer to the higher earners such as Emmanuel Adebayor, Kolo Touré and Carlos Tevez, all of whom earn in excess of £100,000 a week.
City have responded by telling him they have no intention of increasing his pay so significantly, on the basis he will be 30 when his contract expires, an age that counts against any player who relies so heavily on pace. There is also a disparity between the length of deal the player is craving and what the club's chief executive, Garry Cook, and football administrator, Brian Marwood, are willing to offer.
It is an interesting situation for Wright-Phillips, and was something that was suggested as a potential problem once the ADUG signings began to arrive.
Wright-Phillips of course signed a deal a few games into the 2008/09 season, ending a largely frustrating spell at Chelsea. He arrived though on the eve of the ADUG takeover, which of course brought with the vast riches that we have seen over the past year paying both high transfer fees and high wages to match.
The difficulty is that is deserved of a new (improved) contract based on his play since his return? The answer is almost certainly not, but the arrival of de Jong, Bridge and Given, and more recently Santa Cruz, Tevez, Robinho and Adebyaor on far higher wages than £60,000 per week has created an imbalance within the squad. The likes of Wright-Phillips, Ireland, Onouha and Richards, all home grown players of course, are way behind in terms of remuneration in comparison to the ADUG signings.
It is a difficult one for the club to balance, and whilst I don't believe Wright-Phillips is in any way angling for a move, it could be an indication of the problems Garry Cook and Brian Marwood are going to face further down the line - and one they need to find a solution to if they are to avoid what effectively would be a two-tiered squad.