The Manchester City wagon looks to have hit a fairly terminal and terrible bump in the road with their latest defeat, so I thought I’d make all the United fans happy by having a look at what might happen in the summer, assuming the Red Devils continue to torment all around them by dominating the league until the end of the season and defending their crown.
First up let’s looks at the man of the moment, Mario Balotelli. Many footballers in the past have had problems with discipline, but what makes Super Mario so interesting is that very few of those people have been as talented as he is. Speculation had been that his future was intrinsically tied to that of Mancini, such is their bond, but his manager seems to have lost patience after the Arsenal defeat and will consider offers for him.
A return to Milan seems to be the most likely at present, with SkyBet offering 2/1 on AC and 3/1 on Inter as possible destinations, and him being at AC with Zlatan and Robinho would be amusing, if nothing else. If Mancini goes a lot will depend on the new boss for Balotelli, but we already know how Jose Mourinho feels about the young striker, and you can bet the Portuguese would sell him if he came to power at Eastlands.
Another player possibly on his way to Milan is Carlos Tevez, with SportingBet having him as 5/2 to end up in red and black or 6/1 in the colours of Inter, but the big-spending PSG are offered at 4/1, and there is a feeling that a properly top club may not be interested in a player capable of walking away from his team-mates mid-season due to a personal beef. A lot of people saw the return and title race as a chance at redemption for the pug-faced one, but that is not to be, it seems, although of course a new manager would change all that.
Most bookies are also already offering odds on Robin van Persie’s future, with VictorChandler having 7/4 on him being at City next year, with Barcelona and Real Madrid a bit further out at 5’s. Those who know Wenger suggest is more likely that RvP is kept if he won’t sign a new contract due to his age and potential fee, but if City come in with an offer that would enable proper team-building at the Emirates we could well see van Persie playing with Aguero next term, which would be fun.
Who will be picking that team will determine a lot, and is still the most interesting question for me. Jose Mourinho is a 15/8 favourite with WilliamHill to take the job, with Guus Hiddink at 14/1 with PaddyPower, Carlo Ancelotti at 16’s (SkyBet) and Marcelo Bielsa the same price as the porcine Italian. If you want to see them team keep faith, or think they will with Mancini, SkyBet have 5/4 on him being in charge come September 1st. However it happens, this summer is sure to be fascinating at Eastlands.