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Guardiola shadow looms large over Man City and Mancini

The shadow of Pep Guardiola looms large over Manchester City and Roberto Mancini.

The Independent says like Roman Abramovich, Sheikh Mansour wants to establish City as a European power by winning the Champions' League.

Doing so won Roberto Di Matteo a new Chelsea contract, but Tuesday's 2-2 draw at home to Ajax effectively confirmed that Mancini (pictured) will not be holding up the trophy at Wembley in May.

Finally, there is the shadow cast by the most admired coach in the world, Pep Guardiola, who just happens to be taking a sabbatical - one which his advisers say will end next summer.

"The doors are open for Milan, just like they are open for Manchester City, Chelsea and so on," said one of those advisers last week. "Pep will listen to offers and then he will evaluate them."

All three jobs would have their attractions; the worry for Mancini being that neither Milan, whose coach Massimiliano Allegri could soon be sacked, nor Chelsea has recently installed two Catalan senior executives who had worked with Guardiola at Barcelona, the chief executive Ferran Soriano and director of football Txiki Begiristain.

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