Manchester City row puts Champions League trio on red alert
In an environment brimming with egotistical stars, it is hardly shocking that Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini has often found himself at odds with members of his playing staff.
Perhaps surprising is the latest player he has clashed with however, as club captain Vincent Kompany’s Etihad Stadium future has now been called into question.
The skipper, 26, had been sidelined for two months with a calf injury, but still ignored Mancini’s instructions to pull out of international contention for Belgium’s recent World Cup qualifier with Macedonia.
And following his boss’s public criticism of his actions, Belgian media outlets have reported the centre-half to be far from happy at the way the Italian has handled the situation.
It is thought that Kompany was disillusioned by the Mancini-sanctioned treatment he received for his injury at City too, which led him to request the services of his national team physio earlier in the season.
And with a club-versus-country row surfacing a month prior to Kompany joining the Citizens from Hamburg back in 2008, there are suggestions that he may consider his future again.
This has alerted a number of elite European clubs, with Barcelona, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich all keen on landing the defender, should his availability become more apparent.
Even though Mancini would remain reluctant to let him go, a £40m bid could tempt the Italian to part with the latest in a series of senior players he has crossed paths with.
And if he does allow his departure, the Belgian’s most likely destination would appear to be the Nou Camp, particularly in consideration of the Catalans’ long-standing interest in the former Anderlecht man.
Indeed, Barca’s pursuit of Kompany began during Pep Guardiola’s reign at the helm of the club, whilst it is well-known that a top quality centre-half is a priority addition for the La Liga leaders this summer.
With Carles Puyol’s career winding down, Kompany looks as good a natural successor to the legendary Barca captain as anyone.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.