Carlos Tevez has been looking for a way out of Manchester City for at least the last 12 months. His latest actions, apparently refusing to play on Wednesday night in Munich, have all but confirmed his plans.
The reaction to Tevez’s action has been outrage, but Tevez’s behaviour may help him achieve the one thing he has been hoping for: a way out of Manchester.
Putting aside any disputes about whether Tevez did or didn’t refuse to play, the fallout has seen the Argentinean striker suspended from Manchester City for the next two weeks at least, pending an investigation into his behaviour in Germany.
However, any further punishment for the talismanic forward could play into his hands, and City find themselves in a very difficult situation as they look to hand out justice for their dissenting striker’s actions.
The majority of City fans are united in their view: Carlos Tevez should never play for Manchester City again.
Fans from opposing teams may also agree with their stance, and even Sir Alex Ferguson appeared to side with Roberto Mancini, telling the press that the manager was the most important player at any club.
City and their fans have a lot of support from other clubs during this dispute, and football fans all over the globe want to see Tevez dealt with swiftly, and severely.
However, the Argentinean’s attempts to return to South America, or relocate his family and join them in continental Europe, may be aided by any punishment from City.
His two week suspension has already played into his hands, and, one would assume that the striker will be returning to the country of his birth to see his young family while he has the opportunity.
For a couple of years he has publicly expressed his wish to be with his family, and now he will see an opportunity to achieve it.
If City decide to sack their striker, which, while unlikely, is entirely feasible, it gives Tevez the chance to leave City and plan for a future with his family, wherever that may be. This result sees Tevez get what he wants, while his former club are left to fight for compensation from Tevez.
Realistically though, the fiscal punishment for Tevez may not be as big as City hope. With Kia Joorachabian by his side, it is entirely possible that any new contract Tevez signs will see his new employer pay the compensation, meaning the striker simply moves on, without being punished financially.
The scenario also would see the Citizens receive less money than they feel they are entitled to for his services, as they won’t get close to the £40 million valuation placed on his head in the summer.
However, if they choose to sell him, the £40m valuation has fallen drastically as a result of his actions.
Tevez will leave City on the cheap, and while money may not matter to the oil-rich club, principles do.
Why should Tevez be sold for a reduced fee as a result of his actions?
Again, the striker would get what he wants, and City would suffer as a result; it doesn’t seem fair on a club which paid him so much money.
Other options for City include loaning out their former captain.
However, very few clubs can take on his wages, and he is cup-tied from the Champions League, meaning his value is diminished. The likely result sees Tevez leave City, and City end up paying the majority of his wages at the very least; hardly ideal for the club.
Fans favour another punishment for Tevez though; that he returns to the club, and is left to play out his contract with the reserves.
The move is an ideal form of punishment for him, as his poor behaviour does not help him achieve his goal, but the problem of Carlos Tevez remains.
He can turn the heads of other unhappy players, and has the potential to damage team morale more than he already has.
Additionally, he will continue to pick up his weekly salary which exceeds £200,000.
In essence, City will pay him more than a million pounds every month to make a potentially negative contribution to the team, as he continues to cause trouble within the squad, and even turn the heads of younger players at the club.
City can afford to do this, but from a team point of view, it makes little sense.
As revenge goes, it would be sweet, but the drawbacks of such a decision would certainly become a problem.
Furthermore, who is to say that Tevez does not simply take off and return to Argentina in protest? He wants to be in South America, and is clearly willing to be punished if he can get what he wants, so why not simply leave Manchester, not return, and then accept whatever punishment City hand out.
The result could be another punishment in addition to the first, but it would cause more problems and embarrassment for City in the process. It could lead to even more problems within the team, and while fans may support the decision, it does little to improve squad harmony.
Alternatively, and arguably the most sensible move, City could suspend Tevez until they sell him in the January.
Financially, this is perhaps the best option for City; it would allow them to forfeit paying the want-away striker, and they would be able to receive a fee, although reduced, for him in January, when he can leave City on a permanent basis.
However, again, Tevez would not be needed in Manchester. He can return to Argentina until January, and enjoy the family time he so craves, before leaving England permanently. Again, he would be a benefit from this decision, although City may profit more than in any other scenario.
So, Manchester City have a huge dilemma on their hands.
They must be tough on Tevez to prove to other dissenting players that they cannot act in the same way in the future, no matter how unhappy they are.
However, any decision they make has drawbacks, while Tevez ultimately appears to be the one who gets what he wants.
Financially it may hurt him, but he might be happy to take that hit to leave Manchester.
Sadly it appears the final decision could benefit Tevez. As football fans, no matter who are allegiances lie with, we can all come together any accept that no player should be appeased for refusing to play.
Ultimately though, it seems like City have very little choice but to let the former fan-favourite get what he wants.