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Sparky's relationship with his Brazil stars appears to be disintegrating by the minute...

According to The Daily Mail, Manchester City manager Mark Hughes is on the verge of a bitter and potentially fatal falling-out with Robinho and Elano.

There has been friction between the Welsh gaffer and his €36.5 million summer signing ever since the former Real Madrid forward left a training camp in Tenerife last month without permission.

Hughes continues to be frustrated by Robinho's carefree attitude off the pitch, as he believes this supposed lack of professionalism is the cause of the Brazilian's occasional baffling moments on the field.

And while the 25-year-old has undeniably been among City's most impressive performers this term, the manager has pin-pointed his mental failings as reflective of the entire team's inconsistency.

Elano, meanwhile, has long been disgruntled by the lack of first-team opportunities he has received since Sven-Goran Eriksson left Eastlands last year, and has spoken on the matter quite freely.

The Sky Blues will hope to put the problems aside for the time being, though, as they prepare for Thursday night's UEFA Cup clash with Copenhagen.

Mike Maguire,