Three senior players at Manchester City have told manager Roberto Mancini that they do not want Carlos Tevez to be captain of the side if he returns next season, delivering the first evidence that the interminable uncertainty over the Argentine's future is damaging his popularity.
Tevez's strongest public hint yet of his intention to return to Eastlands next season was accompanied at the weekend by a claim that he had been offered – and rejected – a staggering £250,000-a-week salary. Tevez is already City's highest paid player and the dressing room's questioning of why he should lead the side despite his apparent indifference about his future at the club suggests that he now needs to make a decision.
Though Tevez's contribution far outstripped that of any team-mate last season and the player has had to deal with an enforced separation from his daughters, who live with their mother in Buenos Aires, City's transfer-market activity this summer hinges on whether he will stay.
Vincent Kompany, the club's player of the year, who appeared with the FA Cup at the symbolic press conference which preceded City's open-top tour of Manchester two weeks ago, is seen as the more obvious choice as captain, though City's players have made no secret of the importance of Tevez to the side.
Even if he does return, Tevez has positioned himself at odds with the Eastlands board. He characterised himself at the weekend as a player with a direct line to the club's owner, Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, whom he claims directly offered him the new deal to stay at Eastlands after the FA Cup final win over Stoke City.
Bayern Munich remain confident they will be able to agree a fee with City for Jerome Boateng. Though City have signalled they do not want to sell, the Bayern chief executive, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, has confirmed the defender is on the club's radar and he hopes the clubs will be able to finalise a deal.
"I believe that there is a chance that we will come to an agreement. We will have to play a waiting game and this is not something which will be resolved in the next two or three days," Rummenigge said. City would want around €20m (£17.7m) for Boateng. They paid £10.4m to take him from Hamburg last year. Bayern's price is closer to €12.5m (£11m).