Manchester City's lawyers are examining the club's options but it now looks as though Carlos Tevez will not kick a ball again until January at the earliest.
City's legal experts are examining the rule book to find a way of suspending Tevez the maximum of two weeks on a rolling basis until the transfer window opens after manager Roberto Mancini claimed the striker refused to play against Bayern Munich on Tuesday night.
Suspension is a preferable option to sacking the striker and pursuing him for compensation for gross misconduct and breach of contract, a sum which would effectively be paid by the club he signs for in January. However, that option has not as yet been ruled out.
Imposing the initial two-week suspension is only the first part of City's punishment for Tevez after extensive talks between chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak, Mancini, temporary chief executive John MacBeath and their lawyers, with the club backing the manager against one of the club's most prized players.
Tevez earns £200,000-a-week, so would lose around £3 million in wages if City can ban him for the 15 weeks until the transfer window is open again. The internal club suspension will also cost Tevez appearance money and other bonuses, potentially worth £500,000-a-week.
That is sure to be challenged by Tevez and his legal team and advisors, while Professional Footballers' Association chief executive Gordon Taylor is anxious for round-table negotiations to mediate. This would enable Tevez to move on in January but continue to play in the meantime.
That might entail Tevez making an apology to Mancini, but that so far is not forthcoming and ESPNsoccernet sources have indicated that the player feels he has done nothing wrong. With City taking a hardline approach, there seems little room for compromise, and they are now consulting with the FA to see if the suspension could be extended should that be deemed necessary once the findings of the club's internal review has been completed.
Mancini has already stated that Tevez refused to come on as a substitute at Bayern Munich while the Argentine striker has insisted it was a misunderstanding, so the player, his representatives and his legal team will be given every opportunity to put their side of the events as part of the investigation.
ESPNsoccernet has established that Tevez believes the row happened after he refused to warm up a second time and that he did not refuse to play.
An official club statement on Wednesday night read: "Manchester City can confirm that striker Carlos Tevez has been suspended until further notice for a maximum period of two weeks. The player's suspension is pending a full review into his alleged conduct during Tuesday evening's 2-0 defeat to Bayern Munich.
"The player will not be considered for selection or take part in training whilst the review is under way."
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