Carlos Tevez's defiance has cost the Manchester City striker more than £9m in wages, fines and lost bonuses. The club have not paid their one-time captain since the end of November and their 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 – a total of £1.18m.
He has remained in South America ever since, although for the past two months he has received no wages from Manchester City, who believe him to be in breach of no fewer than three clauses in his contract. This has cost the striker, who will turn 28 next month, a further £1.7m.
Even before he brought matters to a head by refusing to come on as a substitute in the 2-0 Champions League defeat at Bayern Munich in October, Tevez (right) ha forfeited a £6m "loyalty bonus". The club considered that his public criticisms of Manchester and his persistent requests for a transfer would have made a mockery of rewarding their then captain for his "loyalty".
In a rare statement to Abu Dhabi's principal newspaper, The National, Khaldoon expressed his frustration at Tevez and his agent, Kia Joorabchian, for attempting to focus solely on a move to Milan. The club were unimpressed when photographs of Tevez and Joorabchian were published showing them entertaining 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 and it is always a positive experience to deal with people with a professional approach. 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's directors know they are unable to sell Tevez for the €44m (£37m) his former club, Corinthians, offered in the summer. The deal to take him back to Sao Paulo collapsed when the club were unable to provide written guarantees from their banks.
City have no objection to Tevez spending the rest of the season at San Siro on loan with a guarantee of a permanent transfer to Milan. However, Khaldoon and his directors would demand a minimum of €30m plus add-ons.
Only Paris St-Germain, awash like Manchester City with Middle Eastern oil money, could be certain of laying their hands on that kind of money up-front, although Tevez is thought to consider the French league to be beneath him. 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, the two sides each issued a statement in which Galliani said it was Milan's intention to close the deal while Tevez remarked: "I can see myself only in a red-and-black shirt."
As the wealthiest club in the world, Manchester City have the resources to enforce Tevez's contract and keep his registration until it expires, which would destroy his international career.
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. He appealed against the original decision to fine him six weeks' wages, although a club panel rejected it. He has not completed 90 minutes of competitive football since the 2-1 victory over Birmingham in the Carling Cup, four months ago.
Tevez in figures
£6m: The amount that City have withheld in loyalty bonus
£396,000: Fine for refusing to play against Bayern Munich in Champions League
£1.188m: Fine for breach of contract
£1.7m: Non-payment of wages
£9.284m: Total loss to Tevez