Adebayor and Touré square up in training as City tensions boil over

Players have to be separated by team-mates. Dispute comes on heels of incident with Balotelli and Boateng

Manchester City's image as a club racked by player disputes was done no favours on the eve of tonight's vital visit to Arsenal when Kolo Touré and Emmanuel Adebayor became the latest players to square up on the training ground.

As manager Roberto Mancini confirmed that City have agreed a £27m fee for Wolfsburg's Edin Dzeko – a deal which leaves Adebayor another step closer to the exit – he and Touré clashed after an exchange of words. City insisted last night that the dispute was all in the course of another competitive training session but the headlock between the two, who both left the Emirates for Eastlands in the summer of 2009, reveals Mancini's demand that disputes must take place behind closed doors is still not being heeded.

Since neither Adebayor nor Touré are currently in the City team – both were omitted from the squad for the New Year's Day win against Blackpool – frustration may have played its part in the latest tussle on the pitch, unhelpfully positioned within full view of a public right of way, where Mario Balotelli and Jerome Boateng had to be pulled apart by Mancini last month.

Adebayor, currently recovering from a heel injury, did feature briefly yesterday in the discussion of City's prospects undertaken by Mancini, who said that he did not think the club would be bidding for Benfica's defender David Luiz. Mancini also said Dzeko's arrival would not marginalise Balotelli: "Every club needs three good strikers. Now we have Mario, Tevez, Adebayor, these are good players. We always [expect] Tevez to score but it is impossible. Adebayor was injured for one month and he is not right yet."

City needed a sense of calm heading to a club whom they have not beaten away for 35 years, with neither David Silva nor Balotelli fit to play a part. Mancini attempted to put the pressure on Arsène Wenger's side as he cited them as title candidates and kept City out of the equation. "It is possible that Arsenal win the title. I think every year Arsenal can win the title, like United and Chelsea. Arsenal are one of the big teams in England," he said.

Dzeko should be a City player by the end of the week but will probably not be available until the Premier League game with Wolves on 15 January. He and Tevez will become City's first-choice strike combination, though Mancini played down the idea of the two players operating as a traditional big man-small man forward partnership.

"It is not important, this, it is important [only that] they play football," Mancini said. "Dzeko has all the qualities a striker should have; he is good in the air, has good technique, is quick, is strong, tall, scores goals, in the last few years he scored a lot of goals. He has experience."

Mancini said for the first time yesterday that he believed City are one of the cluster of five teams who might take the title. "When you start the season you can have problems," he said. "Chelsea started the season and won six games in a row and now have difficulties," he said. "We had a problem at the start but it is better to have a problem at the start of the season. You have time to recover, to improve."

He does not seem intent on taking the Adebayor-Touré spat any further, despite the embarrassment of it following James Milner's tunnel clash with Yaya Touré at Eastlands in October and the heated on-pitch row between Adebayor and Vincent Kompany which came during the defeat at Wolves in the next match in October. A City spokesman said of the training ground incident: "There was an incident but it was nothing different to what goes on at all clubs. Training carried on and they [Touré and Adebayor] shook hands afterwards."

Voices
There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm tomorrow
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Caroline Flack became the tenth winner of Strictly Come Dancing
tvReview: 'Absolutely phenomenal' Xtra Factor presenter wins Strictly Come Dancing final
Life and Style
A still from the 1939 film version of Margaret Mitchell's 'Gone with the Wind'
life
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
J Jefferson Farjeon at home in 1953
booksBooksellers say readers are turning away from modern thrillers and back to golden age of crime writing
Sport
Amir Khan is engaged in a broader battle than attempting to win a fight with Floyd Mayweather
boxing Exclusive: Amir Khan reveals plans to travel to Pakistan
News
Stacey Dooley was the only woman to be nominated in last month’s Grierson awards
mediaClare Balding and Davina McCall among those overlooked for Grierson awards
Voices
Joseph Kynaston Reeves arguing with Russell Brand outside the RBS’s London offices on Friday
voicesDJ Taylor: The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a worker's rant to Russell Brand
News
Twitchers see things differently, depending on their gender
scienceNew study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
News
i100
News
Xander van der Burgt, at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
scienceA Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

Marian Keyes

The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick