The 39-year-old’s future with Wigan remains unclear, while the coaching shake-up at the Etihad Stadium has been unrelated to Roberto Mancini’s dismissal
MAN CITY TARGET MARTINEZ AS PELLEGRINI’S ASSISTANT
Manchester City are considering an offer for Wigan Athletic manager Roberto Martinez to become Manuel Pellegrini’s assistant.
The Malaga boss is expected to be unveiled as Roberto Mancini’s successor within the next two weeks but The Sweeper understands that City are lining up a surprise bid for Martinez after the Spaniard masterminded Wigan’s shock FA Cup victory at Wembley last Saturday.
The 39-year-old’s future at the DW Stadium remains unclear following Wigan’s relegation from the Premier League, while Martinez, who is Everton’s first-choice candidate to replace David Moyes, is set to meet with the club’s chairman Dave Whelan for talks next week.
It is not known who Pellegrini wants by his side at the Etihad Stadium next season but City have previously been ambitious in their recruitment for the assistant manager position after attempting to make Brendan Rodgers the second in command to Mancini just 18 months ago.
– Paul Clennam
MAN CITY COACHING SHAKE-UP UNRELATED TO MANCINI EXIT
The long knives were sharpened at Manchester City earlier this week with an extensive cull of the coaching staff headlined by the exit of Roberto Mancini.
As revealed by Goal on Tuesday, Mancini was swiftly followed through the exit door by first-team coach David Platt and his extended Italian entourage that included Under-21s manager Attilio Lombardo, senior coach Fausto Salsano, fitness coach Ivan Carminati, goalkeeping coach Massimo Battara and defensive coach Angelo Gregucci.
The City sacking programme, which is believed to have been led by sporting director Txiki Begiristain, was broadened to also include staff members further down the coaching chain.
But The Sweeper understands that the departures of four long-term City servants who work with the academy players were unrelated to Mancini’s exit.
Youth chief Jim Cassell, Academy coach Paul Power, Under-18s coach Adam Sadler and Pete Lowe, the head of education and coaching, were all axed “for different reasons”, according to a City source.
It is expected that Mancini’s former No.2 Brian Kidd, who will be in caretaker charge for the club’s final match of the season on Sunday, will take on a new role at the Etihad Campus, which is currently under construction.
Kidd is likely to work closely with Patrick Vieira, who, as part of the club’s coaching restructure, was appointed to replace Lombardo as head of the Elite Development Squad on Thursday.
– Wayne Veysey
‘INJURED’ ARTETA TO TRAVEL WITH ARSENAL SQUAD
Mikel Arteta will travel with the Arsenal party that flies to Newcastle ahead of Sunday’s pivotal Premier League clash even if he is ruled out through injury.
Arsene Wenger says the midfielder has “minimal” chance of being available for the match after picking up a calf strain in Tuesday’s 4-1 win over Wigan.
The Sweeper understands that Arteta’s injury is the type that would normally take two weeks to recover from, but the club gave him injections on Friday in a last-ditch bid to patch him up for the final game of the season.
Even if he is declared not fit, the Arsenal lynchpin and vice-captain, who is regarded as one of the more vocal members of the dressing room, plans to travel with the squad to provide moral support for his team-mates.
– Wayne Veysey
SIR ALEX TO GET COMMEMORATIVE WATCHManchester United’s official watch maker Hublot are planning a special gift to mark Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement.
They plan to design a one-off commemorative piece to record his time at Old Trafford.
Jokers inside Carrington have already suggested it will tick a little slower to allow for injury time.
– Paul Clennam