The Mail on Sunday says City's players have never liked Mancini because of his aloofness, strict discipline and mixed public messages. But until now they have always respected him, and his ability to organise a team pattern and deliver trophies, the FA Cup in 2011 and Premier League title in May.
But that fragile peace was exploded in the hours after the Champions League defeat at Ajax.
Mancini angrily confronted them in the dressing room and told them he had personally taken the blame in front of the world's media to protect them. But with his next breath he shouted in temper that he actually did blame them for the 3-1 defeat which had all but killed their prospects of reaching the knockout stages this season.
The reaction of most players was one of disgust that Mancini had claimed in one breath to be trying to protect them, and in the next treated them with contempt. Since that game, City have struggled to beat Swansea and been held to draws by West Ham and in the return game with Ajax.