The Sweeper: Barry fears for Manchester City future

The England midfielder’s camp are unsure over his long-term chances at the Etihad Stadium and plan to speak with director of football Txiki Begiristain in the next fortnight


Gareth Barry has suffered more than most with the changes at Manchester City following the arrival of new boss Manuel Pellegrini.

The midfielder, 32, is out of contract next year and was waiting to speak with the club about their plans for him and whether he has a long-term future at the Etihad Stadium.

City’s director of football, Txiki Begiristain, has been out of the country repeatedly since the end of last season meaning discussions over new deals for many of the club’s stars have been put on hold.

The Barry camp fear a new proposal is not forthcoming, despite the England man being an important part of former manager Roberto Mancini’s first-team squad, but now plan to speak with the ex-Barca chief before the end of the transfer window.

– Paul Clennam


Organisers of the NextGen Series announced on Friday that it has been cancelled this season because of a lack of funding.

The Sweeper understands that the international youth competition, which is made up of 24 elite club academies across 12 European countries, has been postponed because its mysterious Qatari backers pulled the plug on their handouts.

Rumours first surfaced at the end of last season that NextGen was struggling to meet its costs for the forthcoming campaign but these were vehemently denied to Goal at the time by the tournament organisers.

However, the financial burden of paying for the competing teams’ travel and accommodation has proved too much for NextGen without its principal backers.

The opening two seasons of the competition are believed to have been funded by wealthy investors from Qatar but they were unwilling to continue to do so.

Attempts to source a sponsor for this season’s tournament failed, which left the organisers with little option but to pull the plug.

This will be regarded with some relief by European governing body Uefa, who will host the inaugural Uefa Youth League this season. The Under-19s tournament, made up of the junior equivalents of the 32 teams competing in the Champions League, is widely believed to have been launched to limit the influence of NextGen.

– Wayne Veysey


Manchester United stars have it their own way after all.

They were up in arms last season when told they could no longer use the private dirt track road, which is away from prying eyes at their Carrington HQ.

Owners Shell UK wanted to impose a six-figure annual toll charge.

The pair have now reached an agreement and United stars have again started to use the secret entrance.

– Paul Clennam

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