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Could Mancini be waiting in the wings?

Sightings of the Italian at the London Stadium spark speculation.

FC Internazionale Milano v Empoli FC - Serie A
Could Mancini be looking to come back to England?
Photo by Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images

Could Bilic be in trouble? That’s the talk, as ex-Manchester City manager and current free agent Roberto Mancini was spotted at the London Stadium witnessing West Ham’s brutal loss yesterday. While the board as always publicly backed the manager, this season has not gone to plan at all, and with West Ham again in the bottom half of the table, patience with Bilic may be boiling over. The Mirror reports that Mancini is interested in coming back to the Premier League after another spell in Italy and in Turkey, and the West Ham board could be keen to bring him aboard.

West Ham United v Manchester City - Premier League
West Ham has allowed nine goals in two home games against Manchester City this season. Sad!
Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

While this year’s disappointing results may be at least partially because of the Dimitri Payet situation, the malaise at the club has been evident all season. The shock exit from the Europa League coupled with the team seeming to crumble against top Premier League teams is very concerning. While the team has enjoyed a few nice wins over other struggling teams such as Hull City, Crystal Palace, Swansea City, and Burnley, the lopsided losses to Manchester United, Arsenal, Manchester City, and Chelsea have to give the board pause, as last year the team was much more successful against teams in the top end of the table. Even reigning champions Leicester City, who are struggling this year, were able to easily dispatch the Hammers 1-0 in December. Also adding fuel to the fire would be the numerous links the club has to Joe Hart, who has ties to Mancini from their days together at Manchester City.

Life as a manager in a Premier League club means knowing that any bad result could result in the sack, and while teams with lots of manager turnover usually aren’t very successful, a change at the top may be in the cards if West Ham aren’t successful down the stretch. The Mirror report also states that a move is likely to be made in the summer instead of mid-season, but a few losses like the one that Mancini witnessed Wednesday may tip the scales too far and the Italian could replace Bilic sooner rather than later.