Manchester City owner Sheikh Mansour has hinted that Roberto Mancini will remain manager even if they do not win the Premier League.
Mancini, who replaced Mark Hughes in December 2009, has taken City to within sight of a title since 1968.
In a rare interview with Abu Dhabi TV, Mansour said: “The difference is three points and we do have a chance.
“But whatever happens and even if we don’t win I am very happy and satisfied with the players, team and management.”
Since completing his purchase of the club in 2008, Mansour has spent well in excess of £1bn in transfers and wages.
Having narrowly lost out to Tottenham in a battle for the final Champions League place in 2010, City ended a 35-year wait for a major trophy by winning the FA Cup last season.
They also claimed third spot in the Premier League to qualify for Europe’s most prestigious competition for the first time.
Like Manchester rivals United, they were knocked out in the group stages, but they are still in contention for the Premier League crown.
Should they beat United in their eagerly awaited clash at the Etihad on 30 April and then win at Newcastle and at home to QPR in their final two games, they would almost certainly claim the title on goal difference, even if United won their remaining matches.
Mancini’s side currently trail United by three points but have lost only one of their last seven league games.
“They have performed very well and have improved in their last few matches,” added Mansour.