The daily game of rumours continues as it does every day. A couple of interesting articles for different reasons take centre stage. First up is the Daily Mail quoting Elano as wanting a new contract or he will leave. The Daily Mail also just finished up a Top 50 Footballers of all time feature and didn't include Duncan Edwards so their credibility registers in negative figures at the moment. And regarding Edwards, you know my position on him. I don't care if he was a Rag, best player... ever.
Also you have to wonder what the criteria is for such a list. The modern players with diet and training are in general significantly better than those that went before; this is usually true in any sport. If however the criteria is the ability of a player compared to his contemporaries then Billy Meredith is also a notable absentee.
So given as such, just about anything that appears in the Daily Mail has to be filed under the "don't believe it until we hear it from a more credible source" tab.
The Manchester Evening News on the other hand generally resists the sensational and as a result has what I feel is more solid reporting. So the story that Richard Dunne is a possible target for Tony Pullis at Stoke is one that I read with interest. I'm not sure what the club should do about Dunne. The Irish international was an absolute rock for City for a number of seasons, but this past year was, frankly, pretty terrible.
He really should be coming into his prime as a player. Under Sven's 4-2-3-1 formation the combination of Dietmar Hamann and Michael Johnson provided excellent cover in front of the back four. Dunne and Micah Richards were a revelation playing together even as Micah was learning the position. This year the formations changed and Richards and Dunne both became a liability. The question is why? Has Dunne started to regress and it was only Sven's formation last year that prevented us from seeing that or was it just an off year? Such things do happen.
After loyal service does the club give up on Dunne and if an offer from Stoke materializes do they take it? Should Dunne be loaned out instead and given the opportunity to regain his form? Good quality central defenders are hard to find and for a couple of years Dunne was one of the best defenders in the entire Premier League.
Dunne will be 30 in September. That seems a little early to give up on such a savvy campaigner. City need to bring in at least one and preferably two strong central defenders this summer. If Stoke are interested I'd personally prefer that the club loan Dunne out with an option to buy if both clubs agree. That way if the old Richard Dunne returns City can take full advantage.