Straight from the dark heart of Italy
Few of us would ever feel unfulfilled at the thought of sailing around the Mediterranean, safe in the knowledge that we would be picking up a guaranteed 500,000 euro a month for the next three years.A dream come true you would say, but for Roberto Mancini that pot of gold has become an albatross around his neck - a not-so-ancient mariner floating on the high seas for too long.As Inter prepare for the Italian Super Cup in China, so their former coach is moored off the coast of Sardinia left to wonder if he will ever find a Serie A port again.It is incredible to think that a coach who has three league titles to his name, along with four Italian Cups and two Italian Super Cups, is left to wile away the days far from the game.At present, heading into the new season there is just one of the 20 coaches in the top-flight who has a Serie A title under his belt. Yes, Jose Mourinho.The man from Jesi can rightly feel hard done by as he contemplates a second year in exile, but how does he find himself in this gilded prison?No doubt the six-million-a-year contract he is still under with Inter is a major stumbling block in enabling Mancio to move on. Apparently, he has spoken to Massimo Moratti twice in an attempt to extract himself from the deal through a pay-off, but negotiations have hit a dead-end.He can point to the fact that he deserves his continued remuneration. After all, before he took over the only trophy Inter had won was the UEFA Cup in 1998.There is no doubt that he has made a rod for his own back with his outspoken comments, but wasn’t he the one who stood up to Juventus and became the symbol of the anti-Luciano Moggi lobby?Surely the hand of Lucky Luciano cannot still be at work, ensuring his old nemesis is black-balled at every turn?Has Serie A seen the last of Mancini? Well, his Inter past would certainly exclude him from ever taking over at Juventus.
And the same goes for AC Milan, whose chief executive Adriano Galliani he never got on with, although Silvio Berlusconi remains a big admirer.His association with the financial mismanagement of Sergio Cragnotti at Lazio and Vittoro Cecchi Gori at Fiorentina ensures that those avenues will stay closed.Rome remains his favoured city, and taking charge of AS Roma would suit to him down to the ground. He is friendly with Francesco Totti. However, that successful Lazio stint - both as player and coach - hangs over any eventuality of the pair working together in the near future, even if Sven Goran Eriksson and Zdenek Zeman made the switch between both clubs in the past.His old friend and former Lazio managing director, Giuseppe De Mita, has been working on a deal to buy Bologna.
But talks have collapsed, and even if a return to the club where he started his career may tug on the heartstrings, a certain battle against relegation would offer little motivation to abandon the yacht.So, it is abroad then, with Russia and Zenit St. Petersburg a possible port of call.
However, England would seem a more preferred destination.He has admitted to spending time in London, working on improving his English, and after his post-Liverpool meltdown - which led to his demise at Inter - he revealed he would love to coach in the Premier League.Then again, what if things don’t go Mourinho’s way in his second season in charge, might we yet see Moratti making his old number one work for that six million a year?Stranger things have happened in Italian football, and our marooned mariner may not want to up anchor and set sail for foreign shores just yet.
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For a minute I thought you were referring to Amantino Mancini of Inter. Now why does Mourinho not rate him much anymore?
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