Bologna are one of Italy’s grand clubs in an historic sense, but anyone would be forgiven for making them out to be a minnow based on recent history.
Boasting seven Scudetti – the last won in 1964 – the Felsinei suffered a calamitous collapse last season and were relegated to Serie B with just five wins all year.
The club has been in dire financial straits for some time now and this played no small part in the disastrous downfall, watching as stars departed one after another.
The sale of star playmaker Alessandro Diamanti to Chinese side Guangzhou Evergrande in February was the straw that broke the camel’s back, sealing a fate in the second division.
But with the Stadio Renato Dall’Ara side sitting in the top five in Serie B at the moment, hope has finally appeared on the horizon for the fallen giants.
A North American investment group headed up by Montreal Impact owner Joey Saputo has been approved to take over the outfit with an official announcement imminent.
And Saputo and company appear keen to waste no time in bringing Bologna back to the top of the Italian game – targeting former Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini.
The Italian, who guided the Citizens to the Premier League title in the 2011-12 campaign after winning three Serie A titles at Inter, has been out of a job since leaving his last post at Galatasaray in June.
According to Sport Mediaset, the new ownership consortium has already established contact with Mancini ahead of the finalisation of their takeover at Bologna.
The Italian outlet has suggested that Saputo’s group will look to lure Mancini with a five-year contract and a transfer kitty of €100 million.
It is unclear whether Mancini would be installed immediately at the helm, with the side currently under the guidance of former Cagliari boss Diego Lopez.
The Italian left Galatasaray amid a dispute over investment in the squad, and would likely want to wait for Bologna to return to Serie A before taking charge.
With substantial funds at his disposal rebuilding the club would be a new type of challenge for Mancini, who has been accustomed to taking charge of European giants.
Confirmation is still yet to arrive on Saputo’s acquisition of Bologna but things are finally looking up for the Emilian club – and securing Mancini’s services would be nothing less than a massive signal of intent to the rest of the peninsula.