Roberto Mancini could only be a stop-gap at Manchester City, it has been revealed. The Daily Telegraph says the Italian has taken over from Mark Hughes knowing that he was not first choice for the job. Manchester City's chief executive, Garry Cook, flew to Amsterdam at the start of the month to offer the post formally to Guus Hiddink.

Mancini, who has been set the target of a top-four finish this season, is under added pressure because the ultimate target of Cook and City's football administrator, Brian Marwood, is eventually to bring in Arsène Wenger as manager.

Marwood, a former Arsenal player, has convinced City's owners, led by chairman Khaldoon al-Mubarak, that he can ultimately deliver the Arsenal manager, with whom he enjoys a close friendship.