According to an article by Daniel Taylor in the Guardian, Roberto Mancini spent three months negotiating with Monaco ahead of a move which would have seen him become the third highest paid manager in the world. The report suggests the deal was close to completion, with the French side “convinced they had got their man.”
Taylor claims the information the Guardian has received shows that Mancini was close to accepting the deal before City’s form saw them secure the title. Thus far, Mancini has declined to comment and it will be interesting to see whether he faces the media at tomorrow’s press conference ahead of the West Ham game.
The article states:
The details of the extraordinary negotiations have been disclosed to the Guardian, corroborated at the highest level, and suggest that Mancini was close to accepting Monaco’s offer before opting to stay at City when his team overhauled Manchester United to clinch their first title since 1968.
The five-year contract, put forward during a meeting in Rome, was tax-free with Monaco’s majority shareholder, the Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev, willing to pay Mancini €8m (£6.4m) a year, plus substantial bonuses, if he left the Etihad Stadium. Rybolovlev, ranked 93rd on the Forbes list of billionaires, bought his majority stake in Monaco in December 2011 and is determined to use his wealth to return the club to the Champions League after a difficult period in which the 2004 finalists have dropped into Ligue 2.
It’s clear that there will be a huge reaction to this story. City fans who feel burnt by their manager’s secret negotiations will begin to retract their love for the man who ended the club’s long wait for silverware. But are these revelations really that big? Of course, I would rather Mancini hadn’t flirted with another side but the reality is he was probably unsure whether he would still have a job come May. Not winning the title last season would have almost certainly resulted in Mancini being sacked, so is it such a surprise he was sounding out other options? The deteriorating relationship with Brian Marwood will have contributed to Mancini’s decision to listen to other offers, too. Mancini has, of course, signed a new 5 year deal since.
It does seem that these talks reached a very detailed level, which obviously is upsetting to City fans who have come to love Mancini, but at the same time I dropped the idea of loyalty in football a long time ago. It doesn’t exist on the part of the employer or employee.
So, whilst these insights provided by Taylor are interesting, I’m not sure the reaction it will almost certainly receive will be justified.