Mancini on outer as Man City slap derby gag on players

Manchester City have slapped a gag on his players ahead of the derby against Manchester United.

Manchester City have slapped a gag on his players ahead of the derby against Manchester United.

The Sunday Mirror says City's players have been gagged by the club ahead of next week’s derby against United – without the backing of Roberto Mancini.

The Italian was shocked to hear that every single member of his squad has been ordered not to talk about the top-of-the-table clash at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday in a bid to ensure a low-key build-up for the champions.

All media requests for player interviews will be declined – including Sky Sports and the BBC.

Even club sponsors, such as EA Sports and player sponsors Puma and adidas, have been told that no players will be made available to push their brands ahead of one of the most eagerly awaited games of the season.

And there will also be a ban in place – preventing players from talking about the United game – when they walk through the UEFA mixed zone after Tuesday night’s final Champions League tie.

Mancini was surprised at the stance, given that City have been one of the most proactive clubs in the Premier League when granting media ­access.

He said: “I am not like other managers. I don’t take these decisions (about not letting players to speak).”

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