Wayne Bridge’s Manchester City career looks to be over. Having only started 3 games so far this season, the left-back is set to leave Eastlands when the transfer window opens in January, in order to find himself regular first-team football.
The player has been linked with almost every Premiership club with a less-than-reliable left-back, and potential suitors are also beginning to emerge on the continent as well. The front runners at this stage are Aston Villa, Fulham, Liverpool, and Stoke City. Turkish club Galatasaray are also thought to be interested in the former England man.
So, here’s a run-down of where Wayne could go:
Aston Villa: Big, ambitious club going through a re-building phase, who could offer European football, although perhaps not next season.
However, Bridge has absolutely no chance of getting into the starting line-up ahead of Steven Warnock.
So that’s a no.
Fulham: They could certainly guarantee him first-team football, and Bridge would also be happy to work with Mark Hughes again, who brought him to City. Fulham, however, are not the team they were under Roy Hodgson, and a move to Craven Cottage would be a step down.
Stoke: He’d be a major signing for Tony Pulis, and would certainly be a very valued member of the club, which he has surely never felt while playing for City. He probably wouldn’t have to move house, either!
However, a move from City to Stoke would be a real step down in levels for Bridge, and he would also have to take a heavier hit to his wages at the Britannia Stadium than elsewhere.
Galatasaray: Traditionally one of Europe’s big boys, if Bridge decided that he needed a break from the Premier League after last year’s off-pitch problems, this might be the best option for him.
He’d probably get the best contract here, too!
Liverpool: The only one of Bridge’s suitors who could claim to be bigger than City, and Bridge would surely be favourite to dislodge Paul Konchesky from the left-back role in Hodgson’s side. European football is also on offer.
A move to Anfield would probably be Bridge’s best option.
So, there you have it. Villa won’t happen, Stoke and Fulham are unlikely, and although Galatasaray would offer a real career change, it would be very difficult for Bridge to turn down the chance to join Liverpool.
And with so many clubs interested, Roy may have to move quickly to be sure of getting his man; Wayne Bridge could well be Liverpool’s first signing of the January transfer window.