Mancini linked to City after dinner-table negotiations

In an intriguing development, Roberto Mancini, the former coach of Internazionale, was last night understood to have had dinner in Gualdo Tadino, the Umbrian town near his home, with representatives from a significant Premier League club.

Sources in Italy claimed that the club was Manchester City who, they said, are interested in the former Italian striker as a successor to Mark Hughes should he be replaced as manager at Eastlands after less than a season in charge. City, and their owners, Abu Dhabi United Group are understood to be admirers of Mancini, and believe, because of his international pedigree, that he may be able to attract the world-class superstars that they want to join the club.

The pressure has grown on Hughes over recent weeks with City struggling close to the relegation zone and, in particular, in the wake of the embarrassing FA Cup exit at the hands of Nottingham Forest last weekend.

The former Blackburn Rovers manager is understood to be concerned about whether or not he can survive in his post beyond this month and is keen to sign a host of Premier League-proven players in the January transfer window to bolster his position and hold on until the summer, when he expects the full might of the Abu Dhabi investment to be flexed.

Hughes has already secured Wayne Bridge from Chelsea and also wants the West Ham pair of Craig Bellamy and Scott Parker, plus Newcastle United goalkeeper Shay Given and Arsenal's Kolo Touré, along with Blackburn striker Roque Santa Cruz.

Mancini was spotted at dinner at around 6pm last night speaking, in English, to representatives from what, according to observers, appeared to be a Premier League club who were discussing salary arrangements and pay. Mancini later claimed, when questioned about the dinner, that he was simply discussing the prospect of buying a property in New York.

Mancini was interested in being considered for the Chelsea manager's job after Avram Grant was sacked last year, and has been linked with other posts in the Premier League.

Interestingly the odds on Mancini succeeding Hughes have shortened dramatically in recent days even though City's owners have been adamant in their backing for the manager. It may be that the meeting with Mancini was simply a case of an agent sounding him out future job prospects, without a mandate from any club, but such is the scrutiny surrounding Hughes and City right now that they are bound to be linked.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Frank Turner performing at 93 Feet East
musicReview: 93 Feet East, London
News
Toronto tops the charts across a range of indexes
news

World cities ranked in terms of safety, food security and 'liveability'

Extras
indybest
Voices
A mother and her child
voices
Voices
The veterans Mark Hayward, Hugh Thompson and Sean Staines (back) with Grayson Perry (front left) and Evgeny Lebedev
charity appealMaverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee