Mancini spotted making Rome return

Manchester City

Roberto Mancini flew to Abu Dhabi and Rome last week as rumours about his Manchester City future continue to rumble ahead of the derby.

The Italian’s ‘secret’ trip to Abu Dhabi is reported to have been taken straight after City’s 4-0 victory over Newcastle United last week with it claimed that he didn’t return to Manchester until Wednesday.

But Mancini was spotted on a flight back from Rome on Wednesday – leading to renewed speculation that the ex-Inter boss is putting plans in place in case the Abu Dhabi United Group give him the sack at the end of the season.

Rumours about potential replacements for Mancini have been rife since City crashed out of the Champions League and lost the home derby to rivals United back in November.

Some sources are claiming that the 48-year-old Italian must oversee a win at Old Trafford on Monday and finish the season with the FA Cup back in City’s trophy cabinet in order to preserve his job.

A City spokeswoman confirmed Mancini’s trip to Abu Dhabi, but claimed it was just a break and not a journey made at the summons of owner Khaldoon Al Mubarak.

She said: “Roberto was in Abu Dhabi for a long weekend and Khaldoon wasn’t there when he went over to my knowledge.

“Roberto wasn’t ¬≠summoned and there were no crunch talks.”

The Rome trip appears to be without the knowledge of the club and comes less than two months after reports emerged that the Giallorossi were preparing a £4.5m-a-year deal to tempt Mancini back to Serie A.

Mancini watched Roma play Sampdoria a week after they parted company with their coach Zdenek Zeman in February. Veteran coach Aurelio Andreazzoli has been installed at the Olympic Stadium until the end of the season, allowing Roma to wait until the current campaign is over before making a move for a new manager.