Serie A giants Inter Milan are growing in desperation in their efforts to land unsettled Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure, according to the Daily Star.
The Ivorian has struggled to replicate the same bulldozing form of last season this time around, and after a summer of speculation could now be reunited with his former manager.
Mancini was the manager that brought him to the Etihad Stadium from Barcelona in July 2010, and could use a personal touch to ensure the pair link up again at the San Siro.
Since singing on at the club, Toure has proceeded to become one of the best box-to-box midfielders in world football and played a key part in their recent domination of the English game.
In his first season at the club he helped them end their agonising wait for silverware with the FA Cup in 2011, scoring the winner against fierce rivals Manchester United in the semi-finals before then netting the winner against Tony Pulis’ Stoke City side at Wembley.
Article continues below
Fuelled by glory, they then proceeded to usurp United as Premier League champions the following year, scoring nine times in 42 appearances with a brace against Newcastle United in a tough game at St James’ Park a particular individual highlight.
After relinquishing their title to United in 2013, the appointment of Manuel Pellegrini helped coax his best form, with Toure scoring 24 times as they pipped Liverpool to the crown and won their title back in the process.
However, despite impressing under Pellegrini’s stewardship, a summer of transfer speculation followed as the player subtly tried to engineer a move back to Barcelona.
A birthday cake, of all things, was central to the argument. The club wished him a happy birthday but the absence of the cake prompted angry words as his relationship with the club hierarchy begun to fall apart.
Ultimately, he remained at City, but with United and Chelsea also monitoring ongoings then Inter should move fast if they are to win the race for one of the world’s best midfielders.
When Mancini was appointed as Walter Mazzarri’s successor way back in November, hopes were high that he would be able to replicate the success of his first spell at the club and propel the club towards the Champions League.
Yet so far, results and performances have been lacking and he spent lavishly in January aiming to arrest their slump.
Arsenal’s German international Lukas Podolski became the first to arrive, signing on loan until the end of the season after burning his bridges with Arsene Wenger along the way.
Then came a significant coup in the form of Xherdan Shaqiri, snubbing interest from Stoke City to swap Pep Guardiola’s Bayern Munich for a new challenge in Italy’s top flight.
Mancini could yet bolster his squad more in the summer with Toure, though luring him away from the Etihad Stadium could be difficult given the affection that pours from the stands in his direction.