Carlos Tevez's defiance has cost the Manchester City striker more than £9m in wages, fines and lost bonuses. The club have not paid him since the end of November and the chairman, Khaldoon al-Mubarak, has issued a statement saying that unless Milan meet City's asking price they will not contemplate a deal.
Tevez was found guilty last month of breach of contract, for travelling to Argentina without consent, and fined six weeks' wages, £1.18m. He has stayed in South America, although for the past two months he has received no wages from Manchester City, who believe him to be in breach of three clauses in his contract. This has cost the striker a further £1.7m.
Even before he brought matters to a head by refusing to come on as a substitute at Bayern Munich in October, Tevez had forfeited a £6m "loyalty bonus".
In a rare statement to Abu Dhabi's principal newspaper, The National, Khaldoon expressed frustration at Tevez and his agent. The club were unimpressed when photographs of Tevez and Kia Joorabchian showed them with Milan's vice-president, Adriano Galliani, in Brazil.
"Carlos remains a player with contractual obligations to Manchester City for the next two and a half years," Khaldoon said. "Unless we receive an offer that we deem appropriate, the terms of his contract will be enforced. Inter Milan and Paris St-Germain approached discussions with us in good faith. As things stand, AC Milan isn't an option for Carlos Tevez.
"If they want to be a consideration in this transfer window, they would do better to stop congratulating one another and begin to look on how they would meet our terms."
Manchester City are unable to sell Tevez for the €44m (£37m) his former club, Corinthians, offered in the summer. City have no objection to Tevez spending the rest of the season at San Siro on loan with a guarantee of a permanent transfer. However, Khaldoon would demand a minimum of €30m plus add-ons.
Only Paris St-Germain, awash with Middle Eastern oil money, could be certain of laying their hands on that kind of money. Joorabchian said that if Carlo Ancelotti had not recently accepted the manager's job at the Parc des Princes they would not have even begun negotiations with PSG. Milan have offered around €20m. Two days ago, Tevez remarked: "I can see myself only in a red-and-black shirt."
Manchester City have the resources to enforce Tevez's contract and keep his registration until it expires. He has until the end of the month to appeal to the Premier League against his fine for gross misconduct, imposed for his unauthorised return to Argentina.