Fulham have denied Italian newspaper reports that they held talks with Roberto Mancini about taking over at Craven Cottage – insisting that they are fully behind current manager Roy Hodgson.
The club categorically refuted rumours that their officials had met with Mancini in central London yesterday and the former Inter Milan manager’s representatives said that he was only in the capital to watch Chelsea take on Roma in the Champions’ League last night. Mancini has been taking English lessons in London in a bid to boost his chances of taking a Premier League job but his agent, Giorgio De Giorgis, said his preference would still be to manage in his homeland.
Mancini has been out of work since May, when he was sacked by Inter after guiding them to three straight Serie A titles. He remains in a bitter dispute with the Nerazzurri about his compensation – holding out for a reported £20m severance package. Mancini has been linked with the managerial roles at both Roma, who were beaten 4-0 at home by Inter this weekend, and Juventus, with Claudio Ranieri earning a stay of execution after a Champions’ League win over Real Madrid on Tuesday night.
Fulham remain confident that Hodgson, who oversaw a miraculous escape from relegation last season, remains the man to bring long-term success to Craven Cottage, despite winning just two of their first seven games after a summer of upheaval. The Whites are just above the relegation zone following a 0-0 draw with Sunderland last weekend.