City will lose out if they sack Tevez


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Manchester City will probably recoup only £17m if they sack Carlos Tevez and sue him for compensation, which reveals why the player can afford to be so dismissive of the club's demands that he return from Argentina to resume his duties.

Tevez (below) has become uncontactable since his unapproved flit to Buenos Aires a week last Monday and sacking seems increasingly to be City's only way to punish a player who flagrantly ignored a demand to appear at the club and explain his absence, 48 hours ago. Suggestions he is suffering from depression are understood to be wide of the mark.

But the precedent created by Chelsea's successful pursuit of Adrian Mutu for compensation, following his dismissal by the club when he tested positive for cocaine seven years ago, suggests that City may secure less than half the £40m value they currently place on him. Fifa's Dispute Resolution Chamber (DRC) ordered Mutu to pay Chelsea €17.1m (£14.7m) a figure based on the 44 months remaining on his contract, Chelsea's initial £19.3m outlay,plus agent and signing on fees.

Calculating City's likely pay-out is complicated by the fact that neither the club nor the player's representatives have been willing to disclose the precise figure they paid to take on Tevez, estimates of which range from £25m to £47m. Sports lawyer Daniel Geey, who has studied the Mutu judgment in detail, said its precedent pointed to a pay-out of around £17m if City had spent £35m, or as much as £23.5m if they spent £47m on the Argentine.

Tevez seems to be forcing City's hand. A £25m sale in January suddenly looks good business for City, who 12 months ago insisted they would not accept less than £50m.