Roberto Mancini may take Manchester City on tour before being sacked
Roberto Mancini, the Manchester City manager, may find himself leading the club on an end-of-season tour with his tenure all but over, as City's relentless drive to boost revenues takes them overseas as soon as their attempt to defend their Premier League title is concluded.
The City chief executive, Ferran Soriano, is looking at every aspect of revenue generation, as he seeks new ways of competing in the era of financial fair play. A seven-day, two-match tour, similar to the one Sven Goran Eriksson was asked to embark on when already effectively sacked five years ago, is under serious consideration. City's final game of the season is against Norwich City at the Etihad on 19 May and the tour would take place before the players dispersed for the summer.
The revenue potential is appealing, though it would add to a crowded summer for the club, whose decision on whether to stick with Mancini will depend on whether Soriano feels the club have progressed over the course of the season. City are already scheduled to undertake a tour of the Far East in pre-season, taking part in the Premier League Asia Trophy in Hong Kong in July.
It is Mancini's failure to take the club far into the Champions League which creates an opportunity for a post-season tour.
Reports in the Chile last night suggested that Manuel Pellegrini, who has taken Malaga to the Champions League knockout stages, has a verbal agreement to take over at City this summer. Roma are keen, meanwhile, to appoint Mancini as manager on a £4m annual salary.
City are monitoring the slim prospects for acquiring Neymar from Santos, though Barcelona have put down a €10m (£8.6m) instalment on the striker and it is understood that City would be liable to cover any compensation due to Barcelona if he goes elsewhere.
Belfast Telegraph Digital