City fans to thank Mancini with newspaper advert

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Football News

Manchester City supporters are close to raising the funds required to take out an advert in Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport thanking Roberto Mancini for his three-and-a-half year spell in charge of the club.

Mancini was dismissed last week after he "failed to achieve any of [the club's] stated targets this year" - including a succesful defence of the Premier League title he guided the club to last season. 

The Citizens' lack of progress in Europe under Mancini was also said to be behind City's decision to let the former Inter Milan boss leave.

After the decision was announced Mancini, who also won the FA Cup in 2011, took a full-page advert out in the Manchester Evening News to thank the club's fans for their support - and now they want to reciprocate.

Led by University of Nottingham student Adam Keyworth, over 500 Manchester City fans have clubbed together around £5,000 so far - £2,000 shy of the total they need - to take out an advert of their own thanking Mancini in his native country for delivering their club's first league title in 44 years.

"The idea came about out of a bit of a pipedream," Keyworth told 

"But it gained support and so I set about contacting Gazzetta, and [CNN Italian journalist] Tancredi Palmeri helped sort most things out on their side. 

"They gave us a huge discount on a regular ad space rate. This was all to return the favour after his classy page in the Manchester Evening News."

Since Mancini's departure stories have emerged of unrest in the Manchester City camp under the Italian - however Keyworth says that regardless of how Mancini presided over City, the club's fans wanted to thank him for delivering such historic success.

"I think the feeling is that we never properly got to say goodbye," he explained.

"This is not a motive to express any opinion on the rights or wrongs of his sacking, merely a thank you for the best three years of many of our football supporting lives as City fans.

He added: "We don't believe that this is about the way he has been portrayed. No matter what went on behind the scenes, this is a thank you for what he gave the fans. And the advert he took out in the MEN was a fine act from a fine man."

Mancini is apparently aware of the plan to take out the advert, and described the efforts made by Manchester City fans as "incredible".

Malaga boss Manuel Pellegrini is tipped to be announced as Mancini's successor in the coming days.

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