Manchester City's unsettled striker Carlos Tevez has been charged with failing to warm-up against Bayern Munich at a disciplinary hearing but a final decision over his punishment has been delayed by his club.
Carlos Tevez charged over warm-up
Tevez was called off the bench as City were 2-0 down against the Germans, but did not enter the field of play as manager Roberto Mancini attempted to shuffle his pack. Mancini later claimed that the Argentine had refused to play and ''would never play for the club again'', although Tevez insisted that it had been a miscommunication.
As City launched an investigation into the incident, Tevez was suspended for two weeks on full pay, but faces a four to six week suspension and fines of around £1.5 million if found guilty of misconduct - action that will be approved by the Professional Footballers' Association.
However, City have decided to take their time over deciding what to do with Tevez and a source told ESPNsoccernet: ''No decision will be made on Friday and there are five days in which a decision can be reached. That doesn't mean that all five days will be used, but the club will be deliberating before coming to a verdict.''
Sources have told ESPNsoccernet that they do not believe the evidence can categorically prove that Tevez refused to play, rather than refused to warm-up again, so the hearing has switched focus from that. But City insist this is not a U-turn or the club backing down. Indeed it is not a softening of their approach as the club's ''collective revulsion'' of Tevez's actions remains in place, as it has done from the start.
City stopped short of considering a gross misconduct charge which would have given them the option of sacking the player and cancelling his £250,000-a-week contract - an option highly unlikely anyway as it would have resulted in more legal action for compensation.
Tevez is expected to immediately appeal against any action and if he is unsuccessful in having his case heard by the club's board, will seek a hearing with the Premier League that could linger on until the New Year, when City would be in a position to sell him with the transfer window open.
• Harry Harris' new book: 19: The Remarkable Story of United's League Championship Record is available now.