Maurizio De Giorgis, a close friend of Roberto Mancini, said that his sacking as Manchester City manager came as a "surprise" to the manager and that he was not expecting it. De Giorgis, who has previously advised Mancini, also stated it was too early to say whether he would bounce straight back into management.
Mancini was finally removed from his post late on Monday evening after he had become a virtual "dead man walking" since reports emerged last Friday of City being in advanced talks to replace him with Malaga's Manuel Pellegrini. Defeat to Wigan in the FA Cup final proved the last straw.
But asked if Mancini's sacking was a surprise, De Giorgis told the Guardian: "It came as a surprise? Of course. Of course, it's a surprise. What would you think if you were Roberto Mancini? Wouldn't it be a surprise for you? Of course it's a surprise. Yes. Sure."
After Mancini won last season's Premier League, a first title for 44 years, and the previous year's FA Cup, his sacking could be viewed as ruthless. Did Mancini feel he had been treated fairly? "I don't know how he feels to be honest, I didn't speak with him today. I don't know how he feels," said De Giorgis.
"This is how the football world is. This is how it works. They won a Charity Shield [Community Shield] also. Three titles in three years, right? And you know what, if you look at an almanac you'll see how many years it was that Manchester City wasn't wining a title. But that's how it is. It's a surprise, yes, because nobody was expecting that. Were you expecting that? Were the fans expecting that? I don't think so."
It is understood that Monaco, with whom Mancini discussed potentially taking over last season if he had been sacked then, may no longer be interested. But will the Italian be able to return to management soon or need a break given the sour end to his City tenure? "That I don't know. Roberto loves football, loves coaching so I don't know. It's a little premature, it will be premature to say," said De Giorgis.