Manchester City moved quickly to deny reports in yesterday's Sun that Micah Richards had already signed for Chelsea for a fee of around £18 million. Speaking to both the club's official website and BBC Radio Manchester, head of communications Paul Tyrrell vehemently denied the story. Tyrrell told www.mcfc.co.uk
'There's absolutely no truth in today's story. If the newspaper concerned would have contacted the football club and put anything to us, we would have quickly and clearly said to them that there has been no contact from anybody regarding any of our players.
'Micah is committed to this football club and unwarranted and unwelcome stories, such as this, do the media no great service.
'I can confirm that we will be speaking to the newspaper concerned today to ask for an apology and a retraction. If the newspaper do not give us this, we will report them with an official complaint to the Press Complaints Commission about the story.'
Stuart Pearce was more forthright when interviewed after yesterday's 2-1 over Everton calling the story a 'blatant lie'.
'There has been speculation that a deal has been done with another club. That is blatant lie.
'The one thing I can say is Micah is fantastically happy at this club. I want to bring players in to add to the quality players we already have.
'The main thing is he doesn't let his head get turned by what they read in the papers. Sometimes that is difficult for an 18-year-old.'
I suppose it is little more than can be expected from The Sun. It is in the business of lies and rumours and anyone that gives its stories any credibility needs their head examining.
That said however moves are certainly afoot to pave the way for Richard's transfer.
Speaking on BBC Radio Manchester yesterday a member of the Oldham board confirmed that Oldham would be due a 'significant proportion' of any transfer fee City received for Micah Richards due to a sell on clause that was inserted when Richards moved to City.
When asked about attempts being made by City to buy out the clause for a lump sum, rumoured to be in the region of £1 million, the same Oldham board member would 'neither confirm nor deny' that such an offer had been made.
Read what you wish into that but it seems to me that moves are being made by City to limit what they may have to pay to Oldham in the event of Richards being sold.
Perhaps the club has no intention of selling but moves are certainly in place as to what will happen if City do indeed receive a significant offer from Chelsea.