Few of us would ever feel unfulfilled at the thought of sailing around the Mediterranean, safe in the knowledge that we would be picking up a guaranteed 500,000 euro a month for the next three years.A dream come true you would say, but for Roberto Mancini that pot of gold has become an albatross around his neck - a not-so-ancient mariner floating on the high seas for too long.As Inter prepare for the Italian Super Cup in China, so their former coach is moored off the coast of Sardinia left to wonder if he will ever find a Serie A port again.It is incredible to think that a coach who has three league titles to his name, along with four Italian Cups and two Italian Super Cups, is left to wile away the days far from the game.At present, heading into the new season there is just one of the 20 coaches in the top-flight who has a Serie A title under his belt. Yes, Jose Mourinho.The man from Jesi can rightly feel hard done by as he contemplates a second year in exile, but how does he find himself in this gilded prison?No doubt the six-million-a-year contract he is still under with Inter is a major stumbling block in enabling Mancio to move on. Apparently, he has spoken to Massimo Moratti twice in an attempt to extract himself from the deal through a pay-off, but negotiations have hit a dead-end.He can point to the fact that he deserves his continued remuneration. After all, before he took over the only trophy Inter had won was the UEFA Cup in 1998.There is no doubt that he has made a rod for his own back with his outspoken comments, but wasnÃ¢ÂÂt he the one who stood up to Juventus and became the symbol of the anti-Luciano Moggi lobby?Surely the hand of Lucky Luciano cannot still be at work, ensuring his old nemesis is black-balled at every turn?Has Serie A seen the last of Mancini? Well, his Inter past would certainly exclude him from ever taking over at Juventus.
Summer in Italy has been akin to the opening scene in Sexy Beast Ã¢ÂÂ the one in which Ray Winstone is lying in the pool, turning as red as a lobster, only for his idyllic life to be interrupted by a falling boulder.Well, Serie Aaaaargh! has been doing the floating-in-the-pool bit for a while, waiting for the inevitable big splash that shatters the pre-season lethargy Ã¢ÂÂ only to be left bobbing and bored.As the gentle breezes of July give way to the broiling furnace of August, there has been little to encourage even the most passionate of football followers to lift a weary head from the sun-lounger.