Sacked Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini sealed his fate as far back as September, it has been revealed. The Daily Mail says the Italian's fractured relationship with his own players was at the core of his dismissal from the Etihad Stadium and Mancini never had a chance once he had taken on Joe Hart in the wake of their Champions League defeat at Real Madrid.

Staying in London following Saturday's FA Cup final defeat, several spent much of the time sending messages to reporters outside trying to find out if their manager had been sacked.

One message from a first-team player simply asked: "Is it time to put the champagne on ice?"