Carlos Tevez is facing the prospect of firm disciplinary action from Manchester City after his unauthorised return to Argentina.
The Players' Football Association (PFA), which previously blocked the club's request to fine Tevez four weeks' wages, now appears to feel the player has waived his right to protection from "strong" disciplinary action, and reports across the English press suggest City will press ahead with a heavy fine.
Tevez, who has accepted his misconduct charge and two-week fine for refusing to warm up against Bayern Munich in September, had been expected to remain at Eastlands during the international break to work on his fitness. He had asked the club if he could return to his homeland and, although he failed to receive a positive response, flew back on Monday night nonetheless.
A spokesman for Tevez said: "He was told it was Roberto Mancini's decision as to whether or not he could go and he left numerous voice messages and texts on Mancini's phone.
"He didn't receive a response at all. He then flew to Argentina and tried to speak to Mancini again on Tuesday, leaving messages and texts. We've had no response."
City maintained on Wednesday that Tevez was expected to return to training. "Carlos has been contacted by the club for his observations and he has also been reminded of the requirement to continue his fitness programme tomorrow [on Thursday] at Carrington as planned," a City spokesperson said.
The player's representative, though, has refused to disclose when Tevez plans to return, and PFA chief executive Gordon Taylor acknowledges that the player has left himself open to "strong action".
"To say the least, I am very disappointed and extremely concerned now," Taylor told Sky Sports News. "To go out to Argentina when - as I have been informed - he was clearly told not to because they (City) needed to work on his fitness, and to blatantly ignore that instruction, starts to affect any chance of any reconciliation now.
"The whole relationship between clubs and players is one where there has to be clear understanding of what is to be expected and what is not expected. From that point of view, he is making it virtually impossible to have a reconciliation and leaving himself very vulnerable to strong action by the club.
"If he is determined to leave the club, which may well be apparent, then his money value is being diminished by his actions and can affect another club's interest. As such, he could be held responsible for that, so it is getting to be a situation that I am not at all happy about. Neither are the club, of course, and it is one that we will have to deal with."