Roberto Mancini will reportedly stamp his authority on the Manchester City squad in January with a clear-out of a number of the club’s playing staff.
The Sunday Mirror is reporting that the under-fire City manager is set to rid the club of any dead wood, with around £50 million worth of talent likely to get the chop.
Mancini inherited a large squad of high earners from his predecessor Mark Hughes, and with questions being raised about harmony at the club, the Italian is apparently set to get rid of some of the highly paid stars at Eastlands.
The report quotes a source as saying: “All talk that Roberto has lost the support of the players is being based purely on the word of a group of players that have no future at the club and their hangers-on.”
Mancini has already shown that he is not afraid to dump big-name players after he sent fans' favourite Craig Bellamy on loan to Cardiff City earlier in the season.
Shay Given, Roque Santa Cruz, Wayne Bridge and Shaun Wright-Phillips are all strongly believed to be on their way out of Eastlands.
A series of injuries combined with a surplus of attacking options has kept Santa Cruz out of the team, while Joe Hart’s outstanding form has seen him favoured over Shay Given, and both players have fallen down the pecking order.
Wright-Phillips and Bridge have both been given opportunities in the first team, making 12 appearances between them this season, but Mancini has reportedly dubbed them not good enough for the club.
Both players featured in City’s 3-1 defeat to Lech Poznan in the Europa League on Thursday, which was the club's third defeat in a row and added to the speculation surrounding Mancini's job security.
City are currently fourth in the Premier League but some recent poor results and the manner of their performances has left some questioning Mancini’s position.
With a local derby at home to bitter rivals Manchester United on Wednesday, the pressure on the City boss will not fade quickly.