Mancini’s fate is all but sealed

In the aftermath of Manchester City’s 3-1 defeat to Southampton, reports have continuously circulated of an ever growing rift manager Roberto Mancini and the players. The defending Premier League champions all but sacrificed their crown to their city rivals Manchester United as a result of the loss to the south coast club.

Following the encounter, Mancini appeared stressed and fatigued, something that comes with managing a expensively assembled squad. The players that the Italian utilised on Saturday evening cost a combined £199m. In comparison to the £20m cost of Mauricio Pochettino’s side, the gulf in quality should’ve been evident.

And it most certainly was with Saints running out deserved winners. There have been those that have tipped Mancini to be sacked by his City employers come May, regardless of whether he secured domestic glory or not. It now appears a foregone conclusion, with 12 points separating themselves at United at the summit of the Premier League.

With Txiki Begiristain and Roberto Soriano occupying influential positions on the City board, Pep Guardiola appeared an almost dead cert to succeed the Italian at the Etihad Stadium before accepting a three year contract at Bayern Munich.

Jose Mourinho has also been mooted as a potential successor to Mancini at City, but the aforementioned duo and their Barcelona roots means any deal could be considered an impossibility. Nevertheless, whoever is drafted in to succeed the former Inter head coach will certainly have his work cut out to usurp United, should they deliver domestic glory to the fans.

At present, Sir Alex Ferguson’s side appear unstoppable, but a revitalised City could indeed halt them in their tracks. It’s undetermined who will succeed Mancini at the club, but the writing is beginning to appear on the wall that his spell in charge could be coming to an end sooner rather than later.