Mancini and sporting director Brian Marwood may be under orders from their hierarchy to resolve their differences and work together, but the race between the pair for the ear of chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak may even eclipse that of Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake for rivalry.
Both enjoy strong relationships with their board, but pragmatism will surely dictate an unhealthy feud is unsustainable. If City’s owners decide the disintegration is irreparable, one would not expect the man who has just signed a five-year deal to pay the price.
Mancini has stated in the past he wanted to be an ‘English-type manager’ with greater control of transfers and, with a league title behind him, he evidently feels entitled to assume it.
“At the moment this is difficult,” he said. “I think that we can do a good job like this if everyone works in a good way.”
The language is one of inference. Mancini is adept at casually lighting a fuse while giving the impression of innocence when his words are interpreted as suggesting all is not well.
Asked if City fans should be concerned about potentially destabilising internal club politics, he replied: “I think that the supporters will be happy because they won the last league and can be assured we put all our strength in every game.
"We have a good team and they could be happy because they have an owner in Sheikh Mansour and chairman, and for that they should be happy. I only think these two guys are important for the team. They can stay very quiet and happy because these two guys support the team.”
Mancini’s lavish praise for the chairman and owner ahead of today’s trip to Villa Park could be perceived as an innocent expression of gratitude for their contribution. A cynic might suggest he is indulging in touch of Italian style brown-nosing to aid his dispute with Marwood.
The duo are at least agreed on one issue. The unwanted, overpaid elements of the squad need to leave, chief among them striker Emmanuel Adebayor. Mancini said the striker will be ruining his career if he does not move on because he has “no chance” of playing for City again.
“I’m sorry for him because he is here and he is not playing,” said Mancini. “He has no chance of playing this year. It’s important for him he finds a good solution as he scored a lot of goals last year. He’s a top striker. I have confidence in our strikers, we scored 90 goals last year.”
On the field, retaining the sense of hunger now the primary objective has been achieved, in response to what is certain to be a vigorous reaction from Manchester United, is Mancini’s challenge.
“We hope we can do better,” he said. “It can happen. When a young side wins a championship after many years the season can start very bad. For this reason we need to get inside the players. We won the last championship but that is now in the past. We need to forget everything. It’s not important and I think we need to work more if we are to win it this season.
“We are very confident. If we want to continue to win we need to work, not only because we won the last championship but because United will be a hard team. I don’t want to say we can change the situation.
“To change history we need more time, not just two years. United will be fighting because they are used to winning every year over the last 25 years.”
The Chelsea manager, Roberto Di Matteo, is urging his side not to dwell on
“That is part of the past, it is done and dusted now and we have to look to the present, to the future and forget about that,” said Di Matteo. “It’s going to be a new start, new challenges and it’s going to be difficult for us.
“We will try to close that gap. The league was pretty interesting last season and I’m expecting it to be a great balance at the top with a number of clubs involved.
“Arsenal, us, the two Manchester teams, Newcastle finished very, very well last season and will probably be up there again. It’s exciting and better for everybody.”