Roberto Mancini's job is safe even if Manchester City miss out on Premier League title, says club owner Sheikh Mansour

Sheikh Mansour ‘very happy and satisfied’ with Italian’s efforts in rare statement on club affairs

The Manchester City owner Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al-Nahyan suggested last night that manager Roberto Mancini's job is secure, even if the club lose to Manchester United next Monday night in what may be the title decider.

Sheikh Mansour, whose public comments on City are extremely rare, told Abu Dhabi television yesterday, as his club found the title within their own hands after Manchester United's 4-4 draw with Everton preceded their own triumph at Wolves, that "the difference is three points and we do have a chance. But whatever happens and even if we don't win [on Monday], I am very happy and satisfied with the players, the team and the management. They have performed very well and have improved in their last few matches."

Mancini's performance this season will be subject to a post-season review by Sheikh Mansour's representative, club chairman Khaldoon al-Mubarak, and after the defeat at Arsenal two weeks ago it was clear that recovery was as significant as the title. City have subsequently won three successive games, scoring 12 goals in the process.

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has, meanwhile, avoided any temptation to foster tension between the two clubs ahead of the impending clash by rejecting the notion, stated in the past by his defender Patrice Evra, that United versus City is "passion versus cash". Speaking on the French radio station RMC yesterday, Ferguson said of that notion: "It's not really accurate. I do not agree with that. It is true that Manchester City have become incredibly rich. But it's not the fact that there is a new owner and new ambitions which necessarily change things. The difference is perhaps that we're trying to build with youth."

Ferguson's determination to build a new cohort of young players to bequeath to his successor has certainly become a passion for him, and he confirmed that he had attended a recent match between Lyons and Lille to watch Lille's Eden Hazard, among others. "When I came to the match, I followed Eden Hazard of course, but also other players. It's part of my job to pursue others. Hazard is a very good player. He has many qualities. He is particularly rapid in the first [10] yards," said Ferguson, who has told Dimitar Berbatov's agent that he is ready to jettison the Bulgarian because he wants more pace in his side.

City midfielder Yaya Touré yesterday said that his side were "surprised" to have been given a "fantastic" chance to beat United to the Premier League title, starting next Monday night, and dismissed Mancini's pretence that the trophy is out of reach by declaring that the club would win their remaining three games, with Newcastle and QPR to follow.

The Football Association is not expected to take any action against Touré over images which appeared to show him making a two-fingered gesture in the direction of Wolves fans. Though Liverpool's Luis Suarez received a one-game ban and a £20,000 fine for making a hand gesture towards Fulham fans after apparently receiving abuse during a game, the governing body is understood to be satisfied that Touré was issuing an instruction to a team-mate.

Andre Marriner, who officiated United's controversial defeat against Liverpool this season – a game overshadowed by the Evra-Suarez racism row – will referee next Monday's game. Ferguson was critical of Marriner after his side lost 2-0 to Liverpool at Anfield in September 2009, claiming the referee struggled to deal with the intimidating atmosphere.

Though Mancini maintained his pretence after the Molineux win that only United can be champions, the real picture is that his quest to depose them took on an element of revenge on the day that United dumped his side out of the FA Cup on 8 January. To the Italian's deep indignation, Ferguson accused City captain Vincent Kompany, sent off that day, of being a serially dangerous tackler.

Mancini's allusion to that match in his post-match press conference at Wolves was no coincidence. "When we played the FA Cup in January, we gave them a gift. They won. But Monday will be a different game," he said. This was an unmistakable declaration of intent.

Suggested Topics
News
Susan Sarandon described David Bowie as
peopleSusan Sarandon reveals more on her David Bowie romance
Sport
Lewis Hamilton walks back to the pit lane with his Mercedes burning in the background
Formula 1
Arts and Entertainment
The new characters were announced yesterday at San Diego Comic Con
comic-con 2014
Sport
Arsenal supporters gather for a recent ‘fan party’ in New Jersey
football
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
i100
News
Bryan had a bracelet given to him by his late father stolen during the raid
people
News
A rub on the tummy sprang Casey back to life
video
Sport
sportDidier Drogba returns to Chelsea on one-year deal
Arts and Entertainment
The Secret Cinema performance of Back to the Future has been cancelled again
film
Life and Style
Balmain's autumn/winter 2014 campaign, shot by Mario Sorrenti and featuring Binx Walton, Cara Delevingne, Jourdan Dunn, Ysaunny Brito, Issa Lish and Kayla Scott
fashionHow Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film
filmFifty Shades of Grey trailer provokes moral outrage in US
News
people
News
BBC broadcaster and presenter Evan Davis, who will be taking over from Jeremy Paxman on Newsnight
peopleForget Paxman - what will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Life and Style
fashionCustomer complained about the visibly protruding ribs
News
newsComedy club forced to apologise as maggots eating a dead pigeon fall out of air-conditioning
Arts and Entertainment
Jo Brand says she's mellowed a lot
tvJo Brand says shows encourage people to laugh at the vulnerable
Life and Style
People may feel that they're procrastinating by watching TV in the evening
life
News
Tovey says of homeless charity the Pillion Trust : 'If it weren't for them and the park attendant I wouldn't be here today.'
people
Sport
Rhys Williams
commonwealth games
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

Evan Davis: The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing to take over at Newsnight

The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing

What will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

Finding the names for America’s shame

The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
Inside a church for Born Again Christians: Speaking to God in a Manchester multiplex

Inside a church for Born Again Christians

As Britain's Anglican church struggles to establish its modern identity, one branch of Christianity is booming
Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and me: How Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Parisian couturier Pierre Balmain made his name dressing the mid-century jet set. Today, Olivier Rousteing – heir to the house Pierre built – is celebrating their 21st-century equivalents. The result? Nothing short of Balmania
Cancer, cardiac arrest, HIV and homelessness - and he's only 39

Incredible survival story of David Tovey

Tovey went from cooking for the Queen to rifling through bins for his supper. His is a startling story of endurance against the odds – and of a social safety net failing at every turn
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little