This morning's reports quoting Richard Dunne's comments while on international duty have left City fans feeling uncomfortable. The recent squeeky clean media effort has seen the first blot on its' copy book.
The week started so well with Oliver Holt's report in the Mirror entitled, "Why Kaka might regret choosing Real Madrid over Manchester City." Finally, it seems the media is beginning to believe in the City "project."
However, City's official website report on Richard Dunne's departure seems to conflict with his own comments in the press this morning. Mark Hughes said in that report, "It would have been difficult for Dunney to stay given his standing at the club and I understand that. I wasn’t going to stand in his way. I could have tried to stop him going and said I wanted him as a squad player but out of respect for what he has done for City I wasn’t going to do that."
But Dunne himself suggested that he was forced out of the club speculating that it was a decision taken by the club to balance the books. This morning's Times article reports that Dunne was led to believe that the club were busy selling him behind his back. Dunne is reported as saying, "From the day after the Bulgaria v Republic game in June, I was getting phone calls from people saying Garry Cook has been trying to sell me behind my back. That was two months after me going to him and saying if he has any problems to come and deal with me."
As discussed on other blogs this morning (Lonesome Death of Roy Carroll), these reports sit uneasily with City fans who appreciate the years of service that loyal servant Dunne gave to City. Most fans agreed that it was time to make changes in central defense. The club has been making credible efforts to reach out and be a more supporter-facing club. City fans and players alike will be keen to know that this effort extends to loyal playing staff. However, the conflicting reports suggest that it may not all be a one-way street. The Independent suggests that City dispute Dunne's claim that he was promised a testimonial. They also reportedly argue that they compensated Dunne adequately by giving him a £600,000 golden handshake and agreed to reduce the transfer fee with Villa down from £6m to 4.8m. As is so often the case, we may never know the real truth.