Roberto Mancini mocks Pep Guardiola as Catalans arrive in Manchester
City manager remains on defensive over his long-term future amid executive reshuffle
Roberto Mancini, the Manchester City manager, has mocked the idea of his club's new Spanish hierarchy hiring Pep Guardiola to replace him – declaring of the former Barcelona manager, now living on sabbatical in New York: "His problem is the typhoon."
City's appointment of Txiki Begiristain as sporting director by the club's new chief executive Ferran Soriano has prompted suggestions that the two – both ex-Barcelona – have Guardiola lined up. Mancini introduced that suggestion to his weekly press conference yesterday, in order to knock it down.
The sense of insecurity surrounding the Italian's future has been compounded by the emergence of details of the talks he held with Monaco last summer, as well as by Begiristain's appointment to a position which relegates the Italian to third in City's new "pyramid of excellence" management structure. Mancini said he was "very close with seven or eight teams" last year but preferred to stay at the Etihad Stadium "because I worked well here for three years." But there was an unmistakeable sense of defensiveness though, when Mancini said: "If someone thinks we didn't do a good job, we won three trophies in two years, we worked well."
Mancini still does not seem to be in a state of harmony with some of his backroom staff and bizarrely, he suggested that Micah Richards, who is on crutches after sustaining a meniscus tear against Swansea City last weekend, would be fit in a few weeks, when it is understood he will be on crutches for at least five. The prognosis remains two and half to three months.
Speaking for the first time of the new management structure, Mancini said: "I'm very happy because we have a new sporting director and he worked for Barça and has big experience with a top team. I have my job, Txiki will have his job, Ferran has his job but together I think we can work very, we can work quickly and this is another reason because I am happy for this.
"Also if you write City is here and maybe next year we arrive with Guardiola or another manager, I don't know, this is not my problem. I am here, I want to work well, I want everyone to work well because in this moment we are ready to improve and build a stronger team."
He insisted that he, not Berigistain, would have the final call on purchases. "Yeah yeah yeah, like last year or the last two years, it doesn't change anything. I hope that now I'm sure we can work, because if you can buy players very quickly rather than wait until the last few days of the market, I think it is better for the team. You can prepare the team well."
David Silva will miss Tuesday's match against Ajax but may get half an hour against Tottenham Hotspur, a week tomorrow. Jack Rodwell and Maicon are one to two weeks off a return to training.
Actress isn't a fan of Ed Miliband
Do you qualify – and how do you get it?
The Mayor of London's sister, Rachel Johnson, apologises for shocking tweet about the PM
Latest in Sport
Phil Hughes injury: Cricket world reels as Australian opener fights for his life
Phil Hughes: Batsman had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him
Manchester City vs Bayern Munich comment: Frank Lampard's part in City win shows folly of letting him leave
This letter from a reader explains why women can’t play football
Manchester City vs Bayern Munich: Nasri admits City stars will be sold if they fail in Europe
- 1 Sarah Vine criticises lesbian mother Jack Monroe: 'If she was unsure about her sexuality, she should have taken greater precautions'
- 2 Black Friday 2014: Opening times for Asda, John Lewis, PC World, GAME and Argos
- 3 To help fuel their propaganda machine against the poor, our government has now decided to redefine the word 'welfare'
- 4 Jeremy Hunt: 'I took my children to A&E because I didn't want to wait for GP appointment'
- 5 Girl, 7, gets Tesco to remove 'stupid' sign suggesting superheroes are 'for boys'
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Beast of Bolsover' Dennis Skinner takes Ukip MP Mark Reckless to task moments after he is sworn in
Rochester by-election: Labour MP Emily Thornberry resigns after posting white van and England flags tweet
The young are the new poor: Sharp increase in number of under-25s living in poverty, while over-65s are better off than ever
Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
Revealed: How the world gets rich – from privatising British public services