Roberto Mancini has urged Txiki Begiristain to make Daniele de Rossi his first major signing as Manchester City's new director of football in January, with the Italian midfielder growing increasingly unsettled at Roma.
Begiristain, a key architect of Barcelona's success during the past decade, has been charged with driving City's first-team player recruitment policy in tandem with Mancini.
And having failed to lure De Rossi to the Etihad during the summer, Mancini now believes that the 29-year-old is ready to leave his hometown club as a result of his lack of faith in the methods of coach Zdenek Zeman.
De Rossi, who can also play as a central defender in a three-man defence, is unhappy at being forced to play out of position on the right of midfield in Zeman's 4-3-3 formation, and sources in Italy believe the player is ready to cite his discontent in order to pursue a move to City.
Having resisted offers during the summer for De Rossi, Roma general manager Franco Baldini hinted at the player's disaffection earlier this week.
"Should an offer arrive for him (De Rossi), we will consider it," claimed Baldini.
Mancini could face a battle to persuade Begiristain of the Italian's merits due to his age, £25m valuation and wages at Roma -- which are £4.8m after tax.