West Ham United are close to concluding an eye-catching double signing from Jose Mourinho's Internazionale which would see the 28-year-old Brazilian winger Mancini and the attacking midfielder Luis Jimenez heading for Upton Park.
The West Ham chief executive, Scott Duxbury, spent last weekend in Milan with the club's technical director, Gianluca Nani, and they are hopeful that Mancini, who arrived at Inter in a £15m deal last year after several outstanding years at Roma but has struggled to make an impact under Mourinho, will be heading to east London. The Jimenez deal is already well advanced.
Mancini was once one of the brightest prospects in Serie A thanks to his ability to take defenders on and score goals. Before his move to Inter last July he is understood to have attracted the interest of several Premier League managers, including Sven Goran Eriksson when he was at Manchester City.
The pursuit of Mancini reflects the way that the West Ham manager, Gianfranco Zola, is using his Italian connections to bring talent to the club. An overhaul is under way at Upton Park, the Hammers having released 10 players at the end of the season, while central defender Matthew Upson would also like to pursue a career with a wealthier club. However, Manchester City are understood to prefer Everton's Joleon Lescott.