The Russian sports website Sports.ru has sensationally claimed that Mancini would walk out of Manchester City next week after being given £6m a year by the Russian Football Federation.
The story, was picked up in today’s Daily Mail, and it says that the Russian football federation has offered Mancini a six-year contract worth £35million to manage World Cup hosts Russia. The deal would see Mancini in charge when Russia’s hosts the World Cup in 2018.
City and Mancini have been involved in discussions about a new deal since his original deal has only one year left on it.
City have moved quickly to rebuff the story, insisting that Mancini will join City players at their preseason training camp in Austria on Sunday and that negotiations over a new contract would be ‘concluded’ positively in the week.
“We’re having our discussions on his contract that started at the end of the season” City sources told the Daily Mail.
“We think it’ll conclude in the coming days, get sorted and signed off. He’s definitely off to Austria on Sunday with the team, not Moscow!”
And that might be case, but despite winning the FA Cup and Premier League in his first two full seasons at the City of Manchester Stadium their is friction behind the scenes at the champions.
Mancini is reported to want more control over City’s transfer policy, while there is said to be friction within the club already over Mancini’s growing power and there was unhappiness at the way he blocked a longer pre-season tour of Asia which would have boosted City’s global profile.
And to add one more potential wrench into this story, one of the biggest benefactor to the Russian Football Federation has been Chelsea’s Roman Abramovich. Can you imagine the uproar if Abramovich is underwriting some, or all, of the contract that Mancini signs if he takes the Russia job? Chelsea benefit, Russia benefits and Abramovich wins twice. The only loser in that scenario would be Manchester City.