Mancini calm at centre of storm

The news of Dzeko's likely arrival for around £27million from Wolfsburg, followed by new pictures of training ground friction between players - this time Kolo Toure and Emmanuel Adebayor - emphasised just what an astonishing feat Mancini has already achieved in getting the big spenders into second spot.

When asked about the bust-up with Adebayor, Toure played down the incident as a perfectly normal occurrence, and told The Sun: "We both lost it but it calmed down quickly. Other players and the manager came to separate us. It's already forgotten."

He added: "In any case, with Adebayor it's not the first time and it won't be the last. At Arsenal we often had a similar set-to. We know each other well, maybe too well.

"In any case that proves we have energy to burn; it's not that negative."

Mancini, whose press conference had been before pictures of the training ground fracas emerged, began the day by attempting to ease any title pressure on his players ahead of the most important match of City's season so far, labelling his side as the least likely of the five contenders to lift the title.

"Arsenal, Chelsea, United and Tottenham all have more experience than us and, probably, one of these four teams will win the title," said Mancini.

"We just want to try and stay there and improve.

"I would still say Chelsea have more chance but they have a problem at this moment because Carlo (Ancelotti) has three or four important players injured.

"When you have that situation for two or three months, it is very difficult."

Source: PA

Source: PA