Concerns were growing last night for out-of-favour Man City star Shaun Wright-Phillips after the player became lost trying to find an exit route from the club’s ground at Eastlands .
Following his release by City boss Mancini, It is thought the quicksilver winger became disoriented after choosing a long passageway marked with an exit sign, which initially looked very promising, but may have become frustrated after realising it lead absolutely nowhere. At this point experts believe he may have tried it again and again before collapsing in a heap and instinctively raising his hand to an non-existent linesman.
Ground staff suspect SWP may be hiding out in a recess behind the boiler room after three discarded Lion Bar wrappers and a partially gnawed Twix were discovered there in the early hours of the morning.
Greater Manchester Police, however, are focusing their investigations on the upper reaches of the stands after scratching was heard behind one of the VIP boxes and claim the search could last weeks because City is a massive club.
Relations between club and player recently became strained after Wright-Phillips was offered “massively disrespectful” wages of ninety grand a week.
Detectives, meanwhile, hope to pinpoint Wright-Phillips’ location by hoofing various long balls around the back of the stadium and using sensitive listening equipment to detect the sound of him falling over one of them.
Should this fail, the plan is to allow Carlos Tevez to familiarise himself with a pair of shorts recently worn by the winger before unleashing him to track down Wright-Phillip’s distinctive scent – a mixture of dugout and live radio phone-in.
Brian Phellps of GMP’s Missing Persons Unit remained upbeat this morning about Phillips’ chances of being found alive before being successfully offloaded to League Two strugglers Northampton Town:
“There remain a number of small empty spaces where the player could still be hiding out, “ he told a packed conference.
“And before you ask - yes - the trophy cabinet was the first place we looked. “