Pearce wants four more

Last updated : 25 January 2006 By Ben Collins
Spanish winger Albert Riera has been City's only signing so far, on loan from Espanyol until the end of the season, although Pearce has been hoping to land young Greek striker Georgios Samaras from Heerenveen.

That deal could be sealed next week, but efforts to sign Shrewsbury keeper Joe Hart and Southampton defender Matthew Mills have not yet proved fruitful.

"Talks are ongoing with three players and we have made an inquiry about
another,'' Pearce told the City website.

"It would be nice to get all four in but the problems we have with regard to
contracts and various to-ing and fro-ing between clubs ensure that we won't get these done very quickly."

Pearce had been linked with strikers Dean Ashton and Marcus Bent but he isn't concerned that they've gone elsewhere (West Ham and Charlton).

"When I look around the Premiership and look at teams in direct
comparison to us and look at the players they are bringing in, I have to say to myself 'would that player have benefited us'," he added.

"There aren't too many where I think 'I wish we had him'. As long as I can
keep saying that I haven't a problem.''

City have also rejected talk that Joey Barton has snubbed a `double-your-money' £30k-a-week deal, insisting contract talks with the former England Under-21 player have not even opened yet.

In addition, they have confirmed that Lyon have made no contact over skipper Sylvain Distin, who is rumoured to be a target for Gerard Houllier.