Roberto Mancini shouldn’t have itchy feet about coaching Roma if Manchester City let him go.
There’s a very good reason he might and it’s to do with his Lazio past as a player and coach.
Roma and Lazio have one of the biggest rivalries in football and according to the national papers, Roma are dangling a carrot in front of Mancini, a carrot worth £4.5 million per year.
If Manchester City don’t retain their Premier League title, end the season without a trophy and then sack Mancini, Roma are poised and ready to offer him a way back into Serie A.
However, no one could argue with Mancini for being put off by the idea of going to Roma because of his Lazio past.
Roma is the team which stems from the popular Roman districts whereas Lazio have a wealthier, richer history which has created a natural rivalry between the two clubs.
It’s a rivalry which is extreme and often develops in many different ways such as the Lazio fans who attacked Spurs supporters dressed as Roma supporters before the Europa League clash in Rome earlier in the season.
Mancini may fear a severe backlash if he opts to join up with Roma which could develop along the same lines that Neil Lennon has been made to endure at Celtic; death threats and threats of violence.
What it boils down to is the fact that Mancini is an extremely clever and savvy manager who would simply be taking a great option laid before him.
There is still a very good chance that he will stay on at Manchester City, especially if City can’t get the calibre of replacement that they would ultimately desire.
There is going to be a backlash if Mancini goes to Roma and there will be various threats and incidents but he’s a strong human being, who knows football well and he can endure it all.
He’s got a lot of experience as a player and a coach and he’s not an idiot, which means he will stay well clear of any possible dangers should he lead Roma into a derby against Lazio at some point in the future.
It’s a challenge that he’s much more likely to desire, rather than avoid.
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image: © Andrew Brannan