City players claim they did not hear Tevez refuse to play

Bayern stadium noise means Mancini's version of events hard to prove at inquiry. Striker likely to train with reserves or on his own and be sold for £20m in January

Manchester City players who witnessed the dispute with Roberto Mancini which has led the club to consider sacking Carlos Tevez were unable to hear enough in Bayern Munich's deafening stadium to support the manager's case that the player refused to enter the field of play, The Independent understands.

Manager Roberto Mancini is firmly resisting the idea of attempting to sack Tevez, as he does not want to give the player the satisfaction of earning the big move he has been agitating for. The Italian – who believes the unsettled Arsenal striker Robin van Persie could be a replacement for Tevez, though probably not until next summer – fears that the huge controversy attendant on the Argentine's dismissal could destabilise the club and derail their season. City would have to pursue Tevez through the courts for the recovery of the value of his transfer fee, a process Mancini fears could drag on to next summer.

But as Edin Dzeko last night apologised for the act of dissent which also infuriated the manager on Tuesday's extraordinary night in Munich, it was becoming increasingly evident that the club's seven-day inquisitorial investigation into events will find it difficult to prove Mancini's version of events – that Tevez refused to play. The Independent understands that informal discussions at training yesterday established that some key witnesses cannot definitively say they heard Tevez specifically refuse to play.

The feeling from those with experience in football disciplinary cases – and one shared by the Tevez camp – is that clear evidence of a player's refusal to enter the field of play in the heat of a 60,000-capacity Champions League tie will be extremely difficult to come by, for the club's investigative, legal and human resources teams. Among the City substitutes, only Pablo Zabaleta speaks the same language as Tevez and he was also struggling to hear Mancini on the night in question. The relationship between those two players is not, incidentally, as strong as has been widely characterised.

Given the difficulty of establishing a coherent picture of what occurred in the Allianz Arena, there is a belief within the football community that the Professional Footballers' Association (PFA) would win if City did sack Tevez and the PFA decided to challenge it. The risk of being forced to rescind a sacking may be another factor in persuading City that this is simply not a course of action which is worth pursuing.

Football's disciplinary system does provide City with a way out in which Tevez could be fined up to £1.4m. The disciplinary regime was changed after Leicester City 's decision to sack Dennis Wise for breaking the jaw of Callum Davidson in 2002 was overturned on appeal. At that time, the only options open to clubs for severe breaches were a two-week fine or sacking, so the PFA helped introduce heftier fines of up to six weeks of pay for exceptional cases, such as Lee Bowyer's alleged assault on an Asian student in 2000. The PFA must be consulted if a club intends to fine a player more than two weeks' wages.

Other aspects of the disciplinary regime may be a deterrent. For example, if they sack Tevez they will have to start paying him after six weeks if they then pursue compensation.

City are rapidly coming to terms with the fact that Tevez, whose conduct in Munich drew criticism from the PFA chairman Clarke Carlisle yesterday, will be staying. Mancini has told his chairman Khaldoon al-Mubarak that he wants Tevez to be forced to train at Carrington until January and then sold on. He envisages the 27-year-old working either with the reserves or, one to one, with the club's conditioning team. City accept that by January, his value may be as low as £20m – less than half of the sum they are understood to have paid Manchester United for his contract.

Tevez is understood to be desperate to maintain a training regime during the maximum two-week period of suspension that City have imposed on him. He knows his weight is a problem and his generally poor physical condition is likely to see him dropped by Argentina national coach Alejandro Sabella, from the squad for the forthcoming internationals with Chile and Venezuela. Confirming Mancini's belief that Tevez has not been training well this season, Sabella said when he dropped Tevez for the last Argentina squad that "he's not fully fit; I've heard he's not training well at the moment and put on a bit of weight".

Of the various pronouncements about Tevez which were added to the mountain of comment about an issue which has touched a nerve in the game, those of PFA chairman Carlisle were most significant. While PFA chief executive Gordon Taylor fell short of condemnation, Carlisle said: "As players, we have to be mindful that we are contractually obliged to follow the manager's orders. If you are fit and ready to play and the manager requests that, then under the terms of your contract you have to do that."

In his apology last night, Dzeko said: "I know my reaction (to being taken off) was bad and I have spoken to the guys and to the coach as well. I have apologised for the reaction and Roberto has accepted it and said everything is OK and that we have to be positive for the next game. I was unhappy because we were 2-0 down and I wanted to win the game. It was something special for me to go back to Germany where I played for a long time and I wanted to do well and wanted the team to do well. Things didn't go well for us. That is why I was extra frustrated."

The City investigation will see players being asked to provide evidence which could potentially force a team-mate's sacking, though the difficult position that places some players in does not contravene PFA guidelines. The view from within the profession is that it is a perfectly acceptable course of action, as footballers are no different from any other professionals.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

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

Day In a Page

Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones