Quoted in the Italian newspaper La Nazione (with the following quote from the report carried by guardian.co.uk), Roberto Mancini has indicated that his time in English football may be coming to a premature end:
"I'm ready to go back [to Italy], if and when there will be a possibility. How near I am to a return to Italy I don't know. Football is strange. It was probably right for me to broaden my horizons, but I will return sooner or later."
Mancini also went on to mention the possibility of coaching at Juventus should they have a vacancy in the summer (current incumbent Alberto Zaccaroni is on a short term deal after replacing Ciro Ferrara) but should we read too much into these comments?
Despite his impressive showing at the club, it is by no means certain that he will be in charge at the start of 2010/11. There is speculation of a 'get out' clause for both parties should the club fail to qualify for the Champions League, and in any case, should Jose Mourinho's continual flirting with the English game have any substance then regardless of how Mancini fares between now and mid-May his number could be up.
Having initially been critical of the decision to replace Mark Hughes, I do admit the hiring of Mancini has been a good one, with it being somewhat of a joy to witness a City side playing with an apparant plan and purpose in a game - despite this appearing to alienate a section of the support.
I would like to see Mancini get an opportunity throughout next season as a minimum even if Champions League football is not attained this season. It would be interesting to see him have the benefit of a full summer both to strengthen the squad and to develop those players currently at the club.
the feeling does persist though that Mancini's tenure is destined to be a short one though, and perhaps, much like his latter days at Inter, you suspect that the shadow of Jose Mourinho will loom large.