Now that the manager’s future is settled, the champions can start shopping
With their practically limitless resources, broad appeal and near insatiable ambition, the Manchester City job should be one of the most precarious around, mirroring the other members of the nouveau-riche brigade.
Roberto Mancini is defying such logic though, with his popularity among fans seemingly matched by the owners, who saw fit to reward his Premier League title success with a five-year deal rumoured to pay £7.5 million-a-year.
It should ensure, for a few months at least, that there is no doubt about the security of his position and also means that if a player falls foul of him Carlos Tevez-style, his authority won’t be questioned.
The suffocation of all speculation over Mancini’s future, following talk that he was a candidate for the obscenely well-paid Russia national team job, might also allow the champions to commence their summer transfer activity.
Usually the busiest Premier League side during the window, there has been a discomforting silence surrounding the Etihad Stadium since the dreamy title celebrations, broken only by murmurs about squad players like Adam Johnson and Edin Dzeko leaving.
Interim CEO John MacBeath has requested not just another triumphant domestic campaign (6/5) but a Champions League challenge to accompany it at around 6/1.
Quite which areas they will strengthen in to meet those targets is debatable. The party line at the end of last season was that the plan was to upgrade in a few areas rather than perform a major overhaul.
A top-level defender is a possibility, albeit one that would be harsh on Joleon Lescott after a fine season for club and country. Greater depth at full back, a long-term replacement for Gareth Barry and, if a striker leaves, a new addition up front are other plausible objectives.