Apparently Mancini has told Ireland that he is not certain to be in our 25 man Premier League squad - presuming we sign James Milner - and as such there is not much point in his staying at the club.
Ireland has said he wants to stay:
"I decided in the summer that I was going to get my head down and do what I can to show the manager that I am worth a place on his team. It didn't go that well for me last season, when there were a lot of changes at the club, but it is only a season ago that I was Player of the Year at the club and my view is that I haven't become a bad player overnight. The manager hopefully doesn't think that either...
Ideally, I would like to stay and build a future here. I am not going to rush in to anything, anyway. I think it's best if I see what happens during the first half of the season and perhaps give the situation until Christmas. If things aren't right at this stage then we can look at it again."
The sentiment is admirable but if he's not in the Premier League squad he doesn't have much of a chance of doing so. Of course, there's no reason he couldn't be part of a shadow squad of FA Cup, League Cup and Europa League players. But I don't think that clubs will do that, as formalising a two-tier level of squad membership would be obviously unhealthy and destructive.
We still might not sign Milner. And even if we do Ireland could still make the squad. But I think it's increasingly unlikely that he won't.