Carlos Tevez will be fined only about £1,000 this morning when the West Ham United players decide what punishment he should receive for his angry walk-out after Saturday's Premiership match against Sheffield United.
But the immediate future of the Argentine - and that of his international team-mate Javier Mascherano - is likely to be settled later this week at a meeting between the club and Kia Joorabchian, the businessman who effectively still controls them.
The chances remain that the two will leave either in January or, certainly, next summer, although there are complications over whether they can do so under Fifa rules. At the same time it appears that Joorabchian is slightly more relaxed about the players staying - for now - than he was in the immediate aftermath of his failed bid to buy the club when he was determined that they should go.
The West Ham manager, Alan Pardew, also believes he has invested heavily, in terms of time and effort, to help the players to try to adapt to English football. Tevez's attitude - and conditioning - has certainly improved, with the striker doing double training sessions and working on his own to improve his fitness.
West Ham will not receive fees for the players unless they are sold for a combined £40m - which will not happen - and it is likely that they will move to either Spain or Italy as soon as is practicable. Inquiries have been made from South America, including the Brazilian club Flamengo, who want to take the pair on loan until next summer so they can play in the Copa Libertadores. The players signed permanent deals at West Ham but their contracts are understood to contain clauses allowing them to leave if an offer is made.
Tevez apologised to Pardew yesterday after leaving Upton Park after being substituted in the 66th minute of Saturday's win. Pardew said he had been taken off for tactical reasons but was not given the chance to offer an explanation because of the player's "disrespectful" behaviour.
Tevez is understood to have immediately realised he made a mistake and was embarrassed by his actions. In a statement he said yesterday: "I would just like to say that I left the ground in anger on Saturday. It was a spur of the moment decision which I regretted almost straight away. I know I did very wrong in going and I have made it clear to the manager and my team-mates that I in no way meant to disrespect them."
That contrition was welcomed by Pardew and has saved Tevez a fine of a week's wages. The Argentine has asked that the players vote on the amount of his fine and that it be donated to the Great Ormond Street Hospital.Reuse content