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Last Updated: Wednesday, 29 November 2006, 08:27 GMT
Pearce set to fight for Richards
Manchester City defender Micah Richards
I would love to see Micah stay here, captain the club, and maybe be here for 10 years and carry the club on his back if he can

Stuart Pearce
Manchester City manager Stuart Pearce says he will battle to keep hold of young England star Micah Richards despite reported interest from Chelsea.

The Stamford Bridge side have been linked with a 15m move for the versatile 18-year-old defender.

But Pearce told The Times: "I am not actively looking to sell Micah because he has a great future here.

"Whatever offers come in for him, it is going to take a ridiculously big offer to get him out of this football club."

The last player City sold to Chelsea was Shaun Wright-Phillips for 21m in July 2005 - but Pearce is adamant he no longer has to see his brightest talents leave.

"The offer they made us for Shaun had to be in that region to get him out of here, and the financial situation was such that we had to accept that offer," he added.

"Things have changed at the club since then. The Shaun money is in the bank and things are on an even keel.

"While we cannot go out and spend multi-millions on players, we have not got the bank knocking on the door.

"I would love to see Micah stay here, captain the club, and maybe be here for 10 years and carry the club on his back if he can.

"He is good enough to do it. I have not worked with anyone so good and so young."

Pearce has also reaffirmed his interest in bringing Wright-Phillips back to Eastlands.

City have already failed in an attempt to re-sign the 25-year-old England winger on loan - but will keep trying despite the interest of West Ham.

"I think he would be extremely well received by the fans and he would give the place a big lift," Pearce explained.

"He is the sort of player that can probably earn you 10 points in a season."

SEE ALSO
Richards 'faces #1m legal battle'
17 Nov 06 |  Man City
Barton & Richards sign new deals
25 Jul 06 |  Man City
Wright-Phillips sets Chelsea aim
17 Nov 06 |  Chelsea


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