x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Mancini confident of doing his job at City as usual

Former Barcelona official's arrival has led to rumours of him being replaced.

Roberto Mancini has a five-year contract.
Roberto Mancini has a five-year contract.

MANCHESTER // Roberto Mancini has shrugged off talk about his future after suggestions that the appointment of Txiki Begiristain as Manchester City's director of football could lead to Pep Guardiola replacing the Italian as manager at Etihad Stadium.

After leading City to their first league title in 44 years, Mancini was rewarded with a five-year contract but City's erratic Champions League form, coupled with Begiristain's arrival and the availability of Guardiola has brought renewed speculation about the 47-year-old Italian's position.

But Mancini, noting that Guardiola is spending a sabbatical in the United States, said Hurricane Sandy should be a greater concern to the Spaniard. "He is in New York, his problem is the typhoon," said the City manager.

He believes he can strike up an excellent working relationship with Begiristain and Ferran Soriano, the chief executive and another former Barcelona employee, saying: "I have my job, Txiki has his job and Ferran has his job. Together I think we can we work very well."

Mancini believes he will continue to have an input in transfers, believing that Begiristain has the same duties Brian Marwood performed before the football administrator was put in charge of the club's academy.

"He was sporting director and I think Txiki will do the same job," he said. "I don't want to talk with other teams to buy players," he said.

"Like every sporting director, he will talk with me and with the players before we buy players, like last year, like every year."

Mancini was reported to have agreed to join Monaco in the summer, only to opt to stay at City after winning the Premier League.

"This is my future," he said. "I signed a contract for the next five years because I believe in this squad, because I can work with serious people like Ferran and the chairman. To work with people like that is fantastic."

City welcome back Javi Garcia and Pablo Zabaleta from injury for today's game with West Ham United, and Mancini said they received a further boost with the news that Micah Richards will return sooner than expected.

The England international was carried off against Swansea last week with a knee injury that it was thought would sidelined him for up to four months.

However, Mancini said: "One month, maximum. He didn't do his meniscus. He only had two stitches in his knee. So it is good for us."

David Silva, who suffered a hamstring injury playing for Spain against France, is still missing and will miss Tuesday's crucial Champions League clash with Ajax.

Mancini blamed the Spaniard's heavy workload and said he could return against Tottenham next Sunday.

He added: "Maybe for Tottenham, to play an hour. Silva's problem is that for three years he plays every three days, and when he should take a rest he goes with the national team to Panama or Venezuela."




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