Roberto Mancini’s reward for guiding Manchester City to Premier League glory will be a new £20million contract.
Mancini, who has a year left on his current deal, will sign a new four-year agreement worth £5m-a-year. This deal will make the 47-year-old the Premier League’s highest-paid boss alongside Sir Alex Ferguson.
City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak had planned to offer Mancini the lucrative new deal even if the Italian had missed out on the title, such is the club’s faith in him.
But the dramatic final-day title triumph over Manchester United has cemented Mancini’s status as one of the top managers in the world and City know they must reward him accordingly.
Having won the FA Cup and Premier League in his first two full seasons in charge of City, Mancini has set himself a new target for his third campaign at the helm – Champions League glory.
The 47-year-old Italian believes winning the Premier League will arm his players with the belief that they can prove they are not only the best team in England, but the best in Europe.
“That’s the next step,” said Mancini. “The first year was the FA Cup, the second the Premier League, and I hope the third will be the Champions League.
Mancini reflected on two of the most difficult aspects of his triumphant season – managing disruptive duo Carlos Tevez and Mario Balotelli, whose antics could have cost City the title.
Balotelli missed 11 games through suspension over the season but played a key role in the end, coming off the bench to provide the assist for Aguero’s title-winning goal.
These are just two of the issues Mancini has had to deal with this term. But, regardless, his side have come out on top in the fight for the Premier League.
Mancini’s mind games were extremely interesting to see towards the later stage of the season. He refused to admit City’s chances of title success, seemingly motivating the players to perform as they did. Aguero and co recovered an 8 point deficit within a matter of weeks before winning the league on the final day of the season.
Now, the Manchester City boss insists he needs to improve his squad this summer if the Blues are to build on their Premier League title triumph.
Mancini wants to add the UEFA Champions League to this season’s significant silverware, with City having spent heavily since their takeover by Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Mansour in 2008 to establish a position of prominence in the English game.
Although senior figures at City are ready to back Mancini by pushing through attempts to sign Arsenal’s Robin van Persie and Lille midfielder Eden Hazard, the club’s determination to comply with Uefa’s incoming financial fair play regulations ensures that players must be sold in order to make way for expensive new arrivals.
Having recorded losses of £197 million last year, City could balance their transfer spending by offloading the likes of Edin Dzeko, Mario Balotelli, Adam Johnson and Emmanuel Adebayor in the coming months.
But Mancini insists that if City are to take the next step and become a serious contender for European honours, they must follow the blueprint laid down by Spanish giants Real and Barcelona.
“Barcelona and Real Madrid every year buy two or three players and spend a lot of money.”
“I think for Manchester City it will be the same.”
Furthermore, Carlos Tevez now looks set to stay at the Etihad. The Argentine striker was widely expected to leave in the summer after failing in his attempts to engineer a move during the January transfer window.
Yet after returning to the club following his infamous self-imposed exile in Argentina to play a key role in the run-in, the apparently reintegrated 28-year-old has said he wants to stay.
Their dispute now over, Mancini said: “It’s not difficult to manage Tevez. He’s a good guy. We had a good relationship always.
“I don’t know why we had that situation in September but in the end he’s a good guy and a fantastic player.”
After Premier League success, a very exciting future is about to unfold for Mancini and his City side. Backed by their wealthy owners, it would be very surprising if they failed to make a serious challenge on Europe in the next few seasons. I for one, am extremely excited to see how the squad develops, the blue side of Manchester definitely has the potential for European domination in years to come.