Manchester City's Carlos Tevez faces the prospect of being forced to swap one uncherished job for another, with Paris St-Germain expected to table a bid this week which would match City's likely £25m asking price.
Rumours in the French capital yesterday that Tevez was due to fly in today and that a deal between PSG and City has been done are wide of the mark. But PSG have made the pursuit of a striker their top priority since Alexandre Pato's last-minute decision to stay at Milan scuppered a £34m bid, and the club's Qatari owners have comfortably enough money available to meet City's demands.
Tevez is unlikely to covet the idea of a move to the French capital. Tevez wants to be at a club which would place him among fellow A-listers – namely Internazionale or Milan.
There are still two weeks for City to conclude a deal with either of those sides, Juventus or Real Madrid – the more likely being Inter, who were only £4m away when they bid £21m last week. But the mixed messages from Inter manager, Claudio Ranieri, who asked "what can this lad give us if he isn't playing and what will he take away?" raises doubts about whether the Serie A side will come back to the table. There are profound doubts that Milan are willing to make a £25m investment, now that their attempts to sell Pato have fallen through.
PSG's new manager, Carlo Ancelotti was, by contrast, eulogistic about Tevez at the weekend and it is expected that the contact with City may come direct from him. The French side are severely short of top-class strikers and Tevez is perceived as the only world-class goalscorer available in this window.
Tevez is not contemplating anything beyond the prospect of a move to Italy, though City are in no doubt that they will accept the best bid which meets their demands after a two-month period in which they have been prepared to pay the 27-year-old his £198,000-a-week wage while he has been on unauthorised leave in Argentina.
PSG may not be attracted by the prospect of a player joining them against his will. Tevez has already raised the prospect of quitting the game and that might be a course of action open to him if he does not get the move he seeks.