By Greg Stobart
Joleon Lescott was dropped by Roberto Mancini for Manchester City's win over Swansea City on Saturday as tensions grow between the Italian and a number of his players.
The manager left his centre-back out of the starting line-up in City's 1-0 victory after blaming the England international for the second goal conceded in the midweek Champions League defeat at Ajax.
The City boss immediately replaced Lescott at the Amsterdam ArenA and swiped at the 30-year-old in his post-match interviews, saying: "It's my fault, I didn't tell him [Lescott] to jump."
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Mancini is a big fan of Serbian defender Matija Nastasic, who started against Swansea, but there is an increasing concern at City that the rotation of the defence is affecting the squad, particularly the form of captain Vincent Kompany.
It raises doubts over Lescott's long-term future at the club, with the former Everton man out of contract in 2014 and hoping to open talks over a new deal in the New Year.
He formed a formidable partnership with Kompany as he made 45 appearances in all competitions in City's title-winning campaign last season and has become an England regular under Roy Hodgson.
Lescott, who joined City in a £24 million move back in 2009, currently earns £90,000-a-week and City had planned to offer him an improved salary and a one-year extension.
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