Possible Replacements for Roberto Mancini at Manchester City

Ian RodgersWorld Football Staff WriterDecember 27, 2012

Possible Replacements for Roberto Mancini at Manchester City

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    Roberto Mancini is under pressure again as Manchester City manager after falling seven points behind Manchester United in the Premier League title race.

    The Boxing Day defeat at Sunderland, coupled with United’s 4-3 win over Newcastle, saw the Old Trafford side increase their lead at the top.

    Mancini might have won City’s first title in 44 years last season, but he could not prevent the club from falling in the Champions League group stage for a second successive year.

    City clawed back from an eight-point deficit with six games remaining last season, but failure to retain the title in 2013 could see Mancini departing the club.

    But who could City turn to if Mancini did leave?

    Read on for some potential replacements.

Jose Mourinho

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    Jose Mourinho has made no secret of his desire to return to the Premier League one day after his success with Chelsea.

    The Real Madrid boss, who will be 50 on January 26 next year, won two successive titles with the Stamford Bridge club and took them to within a ‘ghost goal’ of the Champions League final in 2005.

    The Portuguese manager will certainly be in the City hierarchy’s mind if Roberto Mancini were to depart the Etihad Stadium.

    Despite missing out on Champions League success with Chelsea, Mourinho knows what it takes to become the best in Europe after winning the trophy with Porto in 2004 and Inter Milan six years later.

    Mourinho has come under fire at the Bernabeu recently after falling 16 points behind La Liga leaders Barcelona in the defence of their title.

    The most recent defeat at Malaga also saw iconic Real goalkeeper Iker Casillas dropped from the starting XI for the first time in 10 years amid reports of a dressing room rift at the club.

    Mourinho has a contract with Real until 2016 and is expected to be in charge for the rest of the season.

    However, his tenure with the Spanish giants appears to be nearing its denouement, and Mourinho will be looking for the kind of financial muscle City can provide in his next role.

Jurgen Klopp

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    Jurgen Klopp has worked wonders with Borussia Dortmund since succeeding Thomas Doll in 2008.

    After retiring from the game as a player with Mainz 05, he guided the club to success after becoming head coach in 2001.

    Mainz were promoted to the Bundesliga top flight for the first time and qualified for the Europa League during Klopp’s tenure.

    Klopp was also in charge when the club were relegated in 2007 but left a year later for Dortmund.

    The Westfalenstadion club were not the force they once were when Klopp took over, but they won the DFB-Supercup and finished sixth in his first season.

    Klopp kept improving the side each season and was rewarded in 2011 with Dortmund’s first Bundesliga title since 2002.

    But it was the second title win under Klopp which catapulted the German into the thoughts of top European clubs as records tumbled.

    Dortmund broke the record Bundesliga points tally with 81 and set a new league record of 28 matches unbeaten in a single season.

    Where City are concerned, though, Klopp has still to prove himself in European competition despite Dortmund impressing in knocking Roberto Mancini’s side out at the group stage this season.

Pep Guardiola

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    Pep Guardiola appears to be the apple of Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich’s eye at the moment.

    But his pedigree could entice Manchester City to match anything the Stamford Bridge club offer.

    Interim Chelsea manager Rafael Benitez also appears to be doing his long-term job prospects little harm which may pave the way for City.

    Guardiola, who will be 42 on January 18, has also been linked with Manchester United and Arsenal recently.

    The former Barcelona and Spain midfielder stunned the football world when he announced his decision to step down from his role at the Nou Camp.

    Guardiola was the Catalan club’s most successful manager after winning 14 trophies in four seasons.

    City would pull off a massive coup if they were to persuade Guardiola to join the club, but the lure of other footballing institutions may prove too hard to resist.

Joachim Low

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    Joachim Low has become a potential target for a number of clubs across Europe after producing a free-flowing Germany team.

    Low, 52, has no recent club management experience and inherited the national team role after being assistant to Jurgen Klinsmann between 2004 and 2006.

    The pair brought a new attacking policy to a German side renowned for its stoic defensive policies, and their form in the 2006 World Cup on home soil swelled optimism across the country.

    Germany were beaten in the semifinal by eventual winners Italy, and Klinsmann left his role after the finals, allowing Low to step into the role of national manager.

    Low increased the speed of the German team’s game and focused on possession of the ball. The tactic almost paid off in Euro 2008 until the Germans met the masters of the art, Spain.

    The outcome was the same at the 2010 World Cup where Spain beat Germany in the semifinals.

    But Low would represent an astute appointment for Manchester City with his brand of football welcomed by supporters across the continent.

    However, the question over his experience at club level may see City owner Sheikh Mansour move in another direction.

David Moyes

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    David Moyes represents the logical solution if Manchester City were to look for Premier League experience.

    The 49-year-old Scot has achieved minor miracles at Everton since succeeding Walter Smith in March 2002.

    Despite a lack of finances at Goodison Park, Moyes broke the so-called ‘Big Four’ dominance of Champions League qualification in 2005 with a fourth-placed finish ahead of Liverpool.

    Moyes is considered the best Everton manager never to have won a trophy with the club, a fact which will hurt the former Celtic defender.

    Everton have only once reached a Wembley final under Moyes, when they were beaten 2-1 by Chelsea in the 2009 FA Cup final.

    Hopes remain high this season could produce a success in the same competition and another Champions League berth next year.

    Moyes has kept his side in touch with the leaders consistently this season and signings such as Marouane Fellaini, Leighton Baines and Nikica Jelavic have proved more than useful acquisitions in recent years.

    But, while a move to Manchester City would represent a chance to claim silverware, Moyes is still considered a more likely candidate to replace Sir Alex Ferguson across the city at Old Trafford.