City keeper Joe Hart has insisted he is a true professional despite making recent headlines with his party lifestyle, reports The Telegraph.
The City and England stopper, 23, was first pictured out drinking in Spain less than 48 hours before an Euro 2012 qualifier and then with team-mates Gareth Barry and Shay Given at a student house party in Scotland.
“I would never disrespect football because it is my livelihood,” he said. “I’ve always felt fine when I’ve turned up on a Saturday or on a Thursday or a Sunday, so in regards to that, professionally, I’ve been ready for every game.
“I don’t think you have to live like a monk. I just think you have to be a bit smart about how you do it. Maybe at my age, and not realising the position you are in, naivety comes into it a little bit, but you have to learn fast as a footballer.”
Santa Cruz to Fulham.
City outcast Roque Santa Cruz has confirmed to the BBC that he will seek a move away from the club during the winter transfer window.
The Paraguayuan was signed for £18m by Mark Hughes but has been gradually frozen out under Roberto Mancini. Santa Cruz is not even in City’s registered squad for the Europa League and has admitted he will seek a January exit.
“I can’t see myself playing in the team and that’s frustrating,” he told BBC Radio 5 Live. “When the boss does not believe in you then you can’t push him to do so.
“It’s frustrating for me because I’m healthy and I’ll keep working hard on my fitness. But once the time comes I’ll have to look at my options of playing somewhere else. There is no alternative.”
Hughes, now at Fulham, tried to sign the forward on loan during the summer but a deal could not be thrashed out. “I’m interested in players of the quality of Roque,” he said. “My interest in him before was there for everybody to see and whether we pursue that in January is open to debate. I’m not aware that he’s available. That might change.”
City in for Hulk.
With one forward seemingly set for a January exit, City may find themselves with a vacant seat on their bench, and The Mirror are among a number of sources reporting this morning that Sheikh Mansour’s chequebook will next be wafted in the direction of Porto’s Hulk.
The 24-year-old Brazilian is one of the most coveted forwards in Europe and has scored thirteen goals in as many games this season. City believe the €100m release clause stipulated in Hulk’s contract, which runs until 2014, would not be enforced and that they could secure his services for somewhere between €15m and €20m.