With City pursuing Manuel Pellegrini, the Málaga coach, as their preferred replacement, Mancini cut a troubled figure following Saturday's 1-0 FA Cup final loss to Wigan. Then he railed at the club for not killing the stories regarding Pellegrini, an illustration of the Italian's brusque style, one which has not endeared him to players or some members of staff.
This and other factors have caused the club's Abu Dhabi executives to lose confidence in Mancini, who was handed a five-year contract last summer after a first title in 44 seasons. The Italian has struggled to build on that success, with his team being eliminated from the Champions League in the group stages, then losing their league title to Manchester United and finally going down in the FA Cup final.
Mancini revealed the pressure he was under with a bizarre performance following the Wigan loss, when he rounded on his communications executive, Vicky Kloss, during an often contradictory briefing. Asked when he would be told that his job was safe, the manager said: "I don't know, for me nothing will happen. I don't need to talk about me and my future, I have a four-year contract. It's true that every contract can be broken but I don't think they need to talk about me."
Mancini felt the club should have killed the speculation. "The people, Vicky, the other people who work for the press [office], I don't know why they don't stop this rubbish. You wrote this for the six months, and for the last two weeks. It's too much. I don't understand why. For football I talk and I take responsibility in the press. For this you need to talk to Vicky and the other people. If it's true, it will be true. I don't know. For me, I am happy to work for Manchester City. I'm happy with my job, I'm happy about what we did in three years. I am disappointed now that we lost this game."
Why had Mancini not requested anyone at the club try to quell the flow of negative information? "It's not my job," he replied. "Also, last year, it was the same – no one did nothing about this. I am used to seeing these things in football. For us it was important to play in this final – one cup is important because before we hadn't won for a long time."
"I think that we need to work hard as a squad. When you start to win trophies maybe you can think you are the best team. It is not true. You need to work harder and harder. After, also the people who worked with us around the team, they are not strong enough for this job. Also them they should improve. I am strong because my back is very strong and I don't have any problems with this. But I think that together we should improve."
Pellegrini said: "As regards my future, I have not spoken to anyone. We will wait and see what happens at the end of the season."
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image: © Andrew Brannan