Emmanuel Adebayor has hinted at the difficulty Tottenham would face next summer should the club attempt to convince him to take a pay cut to make his loan move from Manchester City permanent, admitting he is as much businessman as footballer.
The Togolese striker has made a dramatic impact on Harry Redknapp's side since completing his season-long switch from the Etihad Stadium, scoring five times in only nine appearances to help Spurs into third place in the Premier League with a game in hand.
Such form is testament to the fact that Adebayor believes he is "happier" at White Hart Lane than at either of his previous clubs in this country, as well as the confidence he takes from Redknapp's evident faith in his abilities after a difficult spell at City. It is not, though, enough to convince the former Arsenal forward to ignore the financial aspect of his career.
Adebayor's £170,000-a-week wages are currently split between his parent club and his present employers, with City thought to be contributing as much as £100,000-a-week towards his salary.
Should Spurs attempt to complete a permanent move next summer, the club's wage structure simply would not allow them to match the striker's total cost. Their current highest earner, Rafael van der Vaart, earns a comparatively measly £70,000-a-week basic, with further incentives for performance and success. City, meanwhile, have always staunchly denied the very idea they may subsidise his wages to ensure he left the club.
"We all play football to get money," Adebayor admitted. "I am from Africa and I have to give something back to my community. I will keep doing this until the end of my career. I will leave it to Harry, [Spurs chairman] Daniel Levy, Khaldoon [al-Mubarak, the City chairman] and the owner of Manchester City to find a solution between them.
"I can't say anything about my future but I came here with a target to help the team finish in the top four and I think I'm doing quite well at the moment. For me, if I didn't help the team get into the top four, then I will have failed. Everybody had a huge belief in me when I came here and I have to pay that back. And at the end of the season, we will see what happens.
"I am happy here. It is a pleasure to have a manager giving you compliments, giving you your life back. He tells me to go out and enjoy my football, just do my thing. I have got my confidence back."
So high is that confidence, particularly after scoring both of Spurs' goals in Monday night's 2-0 victory over Aston Villa which sent them into third place, that Adebayor believes Redknapp's side are now the premier force in the capital; even the imposing form of the club which supplements his salary is not enough to dent it. "City have a strong squad, but if Manchester United are dropping points, I cannot see City not dropping points," he said.