Where next for Michael Mancienne? From Hamburg to Stoke City?

Michael MancienneHaving recently claimed that Michael Mancienne had enjoyed a positive season with Hamburg on this very website, it has since become clear that the former Chelsea and Wolverhampton Wanderers defender could be on his way out of the Bundesliga club. With the confirmed signing of Swiss defender Johan Djourou from Arsenal on Sunday HSV are now looking to offload some of their other defenders, with Mancienne one of those said to be available to go if the price is right.

Die Rothosen have returned to pre-season training today with three of their defenders being told they can leave. As well as Mancienne, Hamburg are willing to listen to bids for fellow defenders Slobodan Rajkovic and Paul Scharner, once of Wigan Athletic. Coach Thorsten Fink now has a surplus of centre-backs, what with the arrival of Djourou and the expected signing of Borussia Dortmund’s Lasse Sobiech. The coach has made it clear to Mancienne et al that they are only likely to be fourth or fifth choice behind the new recruits, mainstay Heiko Westermann and promising youngster Jonathan Tah.

At present, Mancienne is set to train with the squad and may yet remain at the club. However with his reduced status at the club, as well as the reality that Hamburg are looking to cut their wage bill as much as possible, it could be that the Englishman may not be in the Bundesliga come the end of the transfer window. This is despite telling TalkSport at the weekend that he is keen to stay put.

If he were to leave, the big question is where will he go next? There is not much Les Rosbifs has heard at the moment. An April suggestion was that he was seen as a late ‘replacement’ for Christopher Samba at Russian side Anzhi Makhachkala. Whilst this may seem a little fanciful, it cannot be discounted that Championship new boys (and present home of Samba) Queens Park Rangers may be interested, although this very much depends on how deep Harry Redknapp takes his squad clearing over the summer months. One interesting suggestion we have received from a source is that Stoke City are interested.

Another possibility is a loan spell somewhere and with a contract that runs until 2015, this should not be discounted. The only problem with this is that any club looking to take Mancienne for a short spell will have to contribute towards his wages.

We do hope Michael Mancienne remains in the Bundesliga, whether it be with Hamburg or another club. Fingers crossed for what could be a fraught yet intriguing end to the summer for the defender.