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Man City want Guardiola, but won’t replace Mancini until season’s end

| 29.10.2012

Txiki Begiristain’s appointment as Manchester City director of football has led to influx of money being lumped on Pep Guardiola to be the next manager of the reigning Premier League champions.

Winner of two Champions Leagues as a coach and one as a player, Guardiola’s odds to replace Roberto Mancini at City have shortened to 5/2, despite contrary claims that the Spaniard would prefer to manage a London club should he move to the Premier League.

A price of 6/1 says that he’ll take the Citizens’ reins before the season is out and with their Champions League exploits leaving them staring down the barrel of a second successive group-stage elimination, their mega-rich owners could move to recruit the game’s most sought-after coach before someone else beats them to it.

However, with City plodding along nicely in their bid to retain the Premier League title – they’re the only side with an unbeaten record still intact – and sit a single point behind leaders Chelsea, it seems absurd to be discussing Mancini’s future, yet their investors will take some appeasing following another failure on the continental stage.

If the Italian can end the season by continuing the trophy-winning trend he’s brought to the Etihad and put some more silverware in the cabinet, it would surely make it impossible for the owners to oust him.

As far as the betting goes then, the signs are positive for Mancini. City are 4/6 to finish the season with their name on a trophy of some description, while they’re 11/10 not to.

With Guardiola leaving his post at Barca in the summer citing the need for a break, it’s tough to imagine him feeling ready to jump back into the fray just six months on.

This indicates that Mancini will have until at least the end of the season at the Etihad helm because, aside from Guardiola, there are no coaches of world class pedigree available to take over at the moment, unless they consider Rafa Benitez to be in that bracket.

However, if City are to finish the season empty-handed, expect to see Guardiola reunited with Begiristain come the start of the 2013/14 campaign.

All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date



James Middleton