Old Lady set to sleep with the enemy

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We all know the ancient proverb, my enemy’s enemy is my friend – and of course the old sporting favourite: stranger things have happened in football.

So, uniting such words of wisdom we come up with the unlikely name of Roberto Mancini as the next Juventus coach.

The rumours have been flying around the press rooms of all the major dailies in the country that the former Inter man is set to end his exile from the game.

Juve’s de facto PR broadsheet Tuttosport have ventured to 'speculate' that contact has been made with the man who, on the face of it, the Old Lady would least likely to be seen in public with.

Whatever has gone on between the pair in the past can be put to one side as the club finally attempts to crawl out of the long shadow cast by Luciano Moggi.

If the current freefall continues against Catania next weekend, then the winter-break presents the ideal opportunity to part with the lurid past completely.

Not only will Ciro Ferrara be swept out the door, but also just about anyone else associated with the dark days of calciopoli

This would include Moggi protégé Alessio Secco, who has been taking the flak for the catastrophic transfer campaign.

Of course, if Mancini were to replace Ferrara then that would also close off any route for Marcello Lippi to return to the cushy number of director of football he has been angling for after the World Cup.

Depending on how things pan out in South Africa – such as reaching the semi-finals – then Lippi may decide to remain for a tilt at Euro 2012 or leave Cesare Prandelli to step into the top job - hence the reason Luciano Spalletti decided to chase the rouble with Zenit.

Plenty of speculation and intrigue then, but it is back at Juventus where the ever-evolving crisis needs to be tackled head on.

Would the arrival of such a nemesis in Mancini be the smart move?

Well, he is a title winner and a man who speaks his mind so already is well ahead of the present incumbent.

Apparently, Mancio would jump at the chance if there was not a speck of the messy past lying around, and he had a clean slate to rebuild the club’s fortunes over a two-year period.

If such a hypothesis was to reach fruition, then the remainder of this season would be spent ensuring Champions League football, possibly a trophy – be it the Italian Cup or Europa League – but more than anything else bringing about a period of much-needed stability.

Head of operations Jean Claude Blanc appears to be tired of the smell of the old regime hanging around, and would welcome nothing more than to get on with overseeing the finishing touches to the new stadium, inciting sponsors back and generally concentrating on the commercial side of the operation.

Transfer affairs and general player relations would fall to Giuseppe Marotta, who has been overseeing business at Sampdoria.

And who has been his biggest signing? Yes, Antonio Cassano. And who is a big fan of the Bari Bawler?

Just imagine it, Mancini and Cassano in bed with the Old Lady - now that’s something the late Gianni Agnelli would have really got a kick out of.

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