City set for Distin meeting
By Tom Adams
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Manchester City have scheduled further talks with contract rebel Sylvain Distin.
Manchester City have scheduled another meeting to discuss Sylvain Distin's future, with manager Stuart Pearce underlining that tying the defender to a new deal remains a priority.
The French star has so far refused to put his name to a contract extension at Eastlands and, with his current deal expiring at the end of the season, the issue of his future has become a long-running saga for City.
Distin has called on the club to demonstrate that their ambitions match his own, and Pearce will attempt to do just that when he sits down with the former Paris Saint Germain stopper in the coming days.
"It certainly won't peter out as far as we're concerned. The club, Sylvain and his agent have a meeting in place next week," Pearce told the club's official website.
"We're very pro-active at the moment in respect to all the players we want to re-sign and obviously the ones outside this football club that we'd like to bring in.
"We're hopeful, as I have been all the time.
"I think if you ask me if the boy's heart is in this football club I would say definitely yes. It's a great starting point for any manager and player.
"Priorities are Sylvain Distin, there's no doubt about that, and any other players that are out of contract that we deem need to stay at this club."
City are hopeful of attracting fresh investment in the club and Pearce is also looking to make Emile Mpenza and Michael Ball part of what he hopes will be a bright future at Eastlands.
Both players signed short-term contracts when joining the club in the early part of 2007, but have taken their chance to impress and the manager is now keen to reward the pair with longer deals.
"We're talking to him [Mpenza] and his representatives and talks will continue again tomorrow [Friday] with the chief executive, so that will go ahead," Pearce added.
"I'm speaking to Michael Ball's representative this afternoon [Thursday] and we are hoping that both players will be Manchester City players for the long-term.
"We've got a great product to sell here. I think Manchester City as a football club is that and both players are very happy playing their football here and that will swing it in our favour."