Edin Dzeko has repeatedly been reported as being ready to leave Manchester City.
After Dzeko's lethargic, non-committal performance at Goodison Park against a convincing Everton side, Roberto Mancini might consider firing him before he quits.
Entering the day 12 points back of table-topping Manchester United, City needed three points badly.
And they needed to get them without Vincent Kompany, Sergio Aguero and Yaya Toure.
If City were going to win such a match, it needed "step it up" performances from its remaining marquee names, starting with Dzeko.
Instead, City again came away from an encounter with Everton with no points and the sinking feeling that "we just can't beat those guys."
And the sorry tone for the Citizens was set early and all day by Dzeko, who, when he was not simulating contact and falling over, was missing the target with training ground headers and otherwise doing a really convincing Andy Carroll impression.
Within the first five minutes of the match, Dzeko was first walking away from, then needlessly bumping his gums at referee Lee Probert over some perceived slight.
Not the sort of composed, professional approach to a must-win match that Dzeko's side needed from him on the day.
Dzeko has been previously been unwilling to accept a "super-sub" role, chattily insisting per The Guardian that "I will never be a super-sub. I want to play."
With Mario Balotelli long gone and Aguero perpetually nursing leg injuries, if there were ever a time for Dzeko to prove how badly he wants to play, a crucial fixture at Everton was that time.
Instead, Roberto Mancini got what he always seems to get from Dzeko when he starts—a striker with intermittent interest and arguable effectiveness.
The sad thing for City is that when Dzeko is deployed as a late substitute, he regularly delivers.
There is a ton of value in that sort of production for a club like City which, let's face it, often diddles about the yard for 80 minutes or so, only to find something at the last minute which averts a lot of ugly questions.
But if Dzeko does not want to come on late, and he plays like he did against Everton when he starts, well...what's the point of keeping him around?
Dzeko did nothing to help his team win at Everton.
And that is the most damning indictment of all.