City on scouting mission
By Simon Fudge
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Stuart Pearce has revealed that Manchester City are scouting the lower divisions.
Stuart Pearce has revealed that Manchester City are keeping a close eye on some of The Football League's top prospects.
The Eastlands club are making a concerted effort to scout emerging talent that is currently developing in the lower divisions, as they try and identify potential targets.
City's scouting efforts led to the signing of goalkeeper Joe Hart from League Two side Shrewsbury Town last May, and the Premiership outfit have also been linked with the likes of Milton Keynes Dons striker Izale McLeod and Crewe Alexandra teenager Billy Jones.
Pearce believes City's scouting policy will allow them to bring fresh talent to The City of Manchester Stadium.
"We had a meeting in the summer and decreed that we should get to know all the potential top players performing outside The Premiership," said Pearce.
"If over a season myself, my coaches or members of my scouting network get to see all those players who have been catching the eye, then we feel we have done our job.
"If we feel any of those players are good enough for this club, then we will make offers for them.
"January is some way away, but as soon as one window shuts, you have to be thinking about the next one.
"You have to know who might be available, who are the Bosmans, and where we need strengthening."
Local reports in Milton Keynes have suggested that City had even progressed their interest in former Derby County hit-man McLeod by tabling a bid, but MK Dons boss Martin Allen is unaware of the reports.
"There has been no bid for McLeod from anyone," Allen told the Milton Keynes Citizen, "That's all there is to it."