The impasse over the future of Carlos Tevez following the collapse of his move to Corinthians leaves both player and club in an awkward position.
After so publicly declaring he wants to leave Manchester City and then seeing his move to Brazil fall through this week, Tevez finds himself in a corner. He has been crying and screaming for 10 months about how he wants to leave the club due to personal issues, and I don't think Roberto Mancini wants him there. However, for the moment City need him, because they have not signed a replacement.
There is little doubt he will leave though, because in the modern game you cannot expect to keep an unhappy player. It doesn't matter if they have just signed a five-year deal, because the team that wants him will pay that bit more.
The best solution is to acquiesce and tell the player they will be allowed to leave if an acceptable bid arrives. They may as well let Tevez go because he is never going to be happy.
Tevez has put himself in a tricky situation but modern footballers are very thick-skinned. An English player would probably be too scared of the repercussions to disrespect a club so publicly but some foreign players have a different mentality and are happy to voice their opinion publicly.
Often, of course, they fall back on the excuse that they were misquoted, or that something was lost in translation. Tevez, however, has said what he has said and made his position clear, but he hasn't helped himself with the way he has gone on and on about his desire to leave.
He is apparently on holiday in Sardinia but has been pictured with Inter Milan sporting director Marco Branca. What is an Inter official doing there? He should be working in Milan and around the club. It doesn't look all that innocent to me.
These kind of meetings do happen, you just have to accept it as a facet of the modern game. Manchester City fans may feel rightly aggrieved, but there is nothing you can do about it. Loyalty is a rare virtue in football and to be honest most fans don't trust players any more. They don't believe it when a player kisses the badge.
If he goes to Milan he will be another two hours away from Argentina, which given his professed desire to be closer to his family means a transfer to Inter would be strange on the face of things. However, a move to a Latin club would suit him as the links between the Italian and Argentinean culture are fairly pronounced.
I never heard him complain about his family, or fly back to see them, when he was at West Ham or Manchester United. That's why you suspect that issues with the manager are actually at the heart of why he wants to leave the club. I think it is a battle between him and the manager, and given the success Mancini had last season there is only one winner.
However, losing the striker could be the difference between mounting a title challenge and settling for the top four again. Even at 60 per cent capacity Tevez would still give City an edge. Without him they will struggle and if indeed he does depart, will be a huge loss for the club.
If Mancini does sign a big-name replacement then the mystery man's ultimate success will depend on how the Italian uses him. Mancini signed Edin Dzeko in January and we all know what a good player he is, but he doesn't get any games. If City are to replace Tevez they can't just get a goalscorer; they need someone who can create chances as well and knit things together between the midfield and attack.
I remain unconvinced that Sergio Aguero will end up signing for the club, despite City's evident desire to sign him from Atletico Madrid. He appears keen to remain in Spain if possible, meaning Real Madrid are favourites, and who can blame him to be honest - would you prefer sunny Spain or rainy Manchester?
Furthermore, Aguero is nowhere near the player that Tevez is. He doesn't cover the ground and doesn't have the same work rate. In the box he can make something happen, but he won't have the same presence as Tevez.
I watched him carefully in the Copa America and he is a very different player to his countryman. Tevez will be a difficult man to replace.