The news going into last Saturday's FA Cup final surrounded the future of Roberto Mancini, nothing new there, and the prospect of him being replaced by Manuel Pellegrini, again old news. However, this time around, there was a sense of certainty.
News initially broke of Manchester City's decision to replace their manager in the Spanish newspaper AS on Friday evening, and by Sunday the English press were reporting of his imminent dismissal (http://thetim.es/14f2v29).
Mancini can feel hard done by, having won three pieces of silverware in the last three seasons, but it is his man-management and City, a club with grand ambitions, not moving forward in this latest campaign that has harmed him. Their record in the Champions League, two group stage failures, also hasn't helped his cause.
Pellegrini, though not a fashionable name, has forged a stellar career in Spain by guiding unfashionable clubs deep into the Champions League. Villarreal were a spot kick away from contesting the 2006 final and more recently his Malaga side were undone by a minute of madness in Dortmund.
He's clearly shown the ability of getting the best of what he¹s got. Whereas Mancini has fallen out with certain players and failed to motivate them, Pellegrini is likely to do the opposite, and this is most probably what has appealed to Sheikh Mansour.
New manager often means new personnel in the playing department. One player linked with a move could soon be falling out of favour at his current club. Arjen Robben. Although it's been reported Pep Guardiola wants to retain the winger, his selfishness preferring to dribble rather than pass which has been praised by Uli Hoeness, might frustrate the Chilean manager; unless of course, like with Louis van Gaal has done with Oranje, he can curb it.
Reports in the Netherlands on Sunday indicate City will make a bid for Robben (http://bit.ly/15BqTQg). Pellegrini never had the chance to work with the Dutchman at Real Madrid, joining in the summer he was sold, and the season before was Robben's finest in white so it's not surprising to know Pellegrini didn't want him to leave, due to his preference of playing with wingers.
Robben is still one of the pre-eminent wide players in football today, so it's understandable a team like City would be interested; but it all depends on Pellegrini's former rival Guardiola. A move from Munich to Manchester could be the catalyst that sparks their quest to win back the Premier League.