Roberto Mancini will attempt to contact Carlos Tevez by telephone to hear for himself why the Argentine has put in a transfer request, before deciding whether to strip him of the Manchester City captaincy.
The Italian manager – the only arbiter of whether Tevez will play for the club again now that his lawyers have faxed his transfer request – is unlikely to be able to meet the striker, who is due back in Manchester this morning, until Friday.
Mancini has undergone minor eye surgery – reports from Italy suggested he had a pre-op yesterday ahead of an operation today – and he will travel directly to Turin to meet his players ahead of Thursday evening's Europa League match with Juventus. Neither Tevez nor Mario Balotelli are in the provisional squad for Turin.
Tevez will train with the reserves if he does show up today, as the first-team squad are not in until tomorrow. City are not even certain that the player will turn up, as expected, this morning at Carrington, where he is due back from a spa break he has taken in Italy. The club's sense of indignation has grown to one of incredulity after the statement released by Tevez's representatives on Sunday evening which blamed his relationship with executives – believed to be the chief executive, Garry Cook, and football administrator, Brian Marwood – had caused the breakdown with Tevez.
The player's agent, Kia Joorabchian, seems to be creating an individual challenge to Cook, with whom his relationship began to sour after he was cut out of final talks for the failed Kaka deal almost two years ago. City insist that Tevez has met Cook one-to-one on only three or four occasions and there is a feeling in football that the myriad messages coming from the Tevez camp – first suggestions that the player was homesick and unhappy with Roberto Mancini, but on Sunday only claims that senior executives were at fault for unspecified reasons – have undermined any claim that he has been badly treated at City.
As of yesterday, City had no intention of reopening discussions with Joorabchian. It is understood that Cook has asked that all communication from the Iranian be via email, as he has become frustrated with the mixed messages he has received from him in relation to Tevez.
City are prepared to seek a possible £60m in compensation from Tevez if he tells the club that he will retire rather than play for them again.
The odds are against him playing again, with arguably the best course of action if Tevez withdraws his goodwill being for City to place him on gardening leave until next month and then selling him. Another possibility, if a buyer cannot be found at the right price, is a deal similar to the one which took Robinho to Santos last winter, in which Tevez's wages would be subsidised by Boca Juniors, his first club. City remain insistent that he will not be sold next month.
Though his contract ties him to City until June 2014, situations like this are historically resolved with the player being allowed to leave in the first available transfer window, since his value will only reduce if he languishes in the stands. "The options are sell or sue and City could sue him for breach of contract on a point of principle," Andrew Nixon, partner at Thomas Eggar Solicitors, said yesterday. "The advice we tend to offer is don't sue on a point of principle, though City do seem to be a club who can afford it."
Tevez is understood to favour the idea of a move to Spain, in the hope that his Spanish-speaking former partner Vanesa will be persuaded to move there, reuniting the striker with their daughters. Though Real Madrid are in need of a striker – Gonzalo Higuain has back problems and Real's manager, Jose Mourinho, is not enthusiastic about Karim Benzema – the club's president, Florentino Perez, is understood to have indicated that there will be no bid for the 26-year-old next month.
One scenario could be some kind of Benzema-Tevez exchange deal – Mourinho does not feel the Frenchman is tough enough – but it seems unlikely that there will be a big push for Tevez.
Chelsea is another possible destination, even though in the past their manager, Carlo Ancelotti, has declared himself happy with the strikers he has. Florent Malouda said last night that Tevez would be "like Didier Drogba for us. You need these players who can make the difference and help you to win. You definitely need players like thatto win titles. Every time he plays against us he is fantastic so I think they [City] will be happy if they keep him. He is fantastic and you have to try and keep calm when you hear this news."Reuse content