What will he cook up next? Manchester City striker Carlos Tevez in yet another transfer mystery

When Carlos Tevez arrived to sign for Manchester City 18 months ago he walked into the mother of all bear hugs from chief executive Garry Cook.

When he leaves — either in the short or long term — it will be without so much as a handshake.

Tevez rarely departs anywhere in traditional fashion, of course. When he left West Ham for Manchester United, it seemed unclear who owned him.

I'm off! Carlos Tevez wants to leave Manchester City

When he left United for City two years later, it was after a breakdown in his relationship with Sir Alex Ferguson.

This time, though, it promises to be spectacular even by his own standards. Tevez’s statement last night left many questions unanswered but suggests there is more drama to come.

He hinted at issues with senior executives — obviously Cook — and chose to defend coach Roberto Mancini. Nobody will be more surprised by this than Mancini, who believes without question that his star player doesn’t like him.

Bad blood? City manager Mancini and Tevez had a touchline bust-up during last weekends win over Bolton

Only nine days ago Tevez was involved in a touchline dispute with his manager when he was taken off against Bolton. Mancini has been left ‘bemused’, according to those close to him, by Tevez’s transfer request.

Having learned of it last Wednesday, Mancini sought an explanation from the 26-year-old in vain.

Mancini is aware of the issues in Tevez’s private life but doesn’t understand why he would choose to invite pressure on the club and, more pertinently, himself, midway through a season that could yet end with City having a tilt at the Barclays Premier League title.

Higher up the club’s food chain, things are more simple. The blame is directed at Kia Joorabchian, Tevez’s mentor and the man behind his moves to Corinthians in Brazil, West Ham, Manchester United and now to City.

Joorabchian was instrumental in bringing Cook to the club but their relationship is now so poor they communicate only in writing.

At 8.17am yesterday, City released allegations of a recent request for a contract extension and revealed that Tevez is the club’s highest paid player, in an effort to contradict suggestions that their star player is merely tired of football.

Why, after all, would a centre forward want more money or a longer contract if, deep down, he just wanted to leave? The club deny the claim that they were eager to offer Tevez more money to keep him happy.

Last night the Argentine attempted to answer some of those questions, with a shot across City’s bows as powerful as any of his 10 goals this season. It is clear City have an enormous problem at a time in which they finally look well-placed for a run at the top spot.

With Tevez in the Canary Islands and Mancini in Italy, the two are unlikely to speak until after Thursday’s Europa League game at Juventus. Mancini’s tactics, though, may be the best chance City have of bringing Tevez back from the brink and the Italian is starting to struggle for patience.

One option is to attempt to smoke Tevez out via some strong words of his own, as Ferguson did with Wayne Rooney recently. If that address comes, it will be on Wednesday at a pre-Juventus press conference.

Breakdown: Tevez has hinted there may be a an issue with City supremo Garry Cook (right)

Another tactic being considered is relieving Tevez of the captaincy. Such aggressive moves would be in stark contrast to the usual conservative Mancini code. The chances are, they will come too late.

That they are being considered says much about Mancini’s mood. He feels he has offered Tevez flexibility in recent weeks and received only disrespect in return.

For example, the City boss offered Tevez three days off when a booking against Bolton nine days ago meant he would be unavailable for Saturday’s game at West Ham. Tevez asked for a fourth and was granted it on the condition that he did an extended training session last Thursday.

Last Saturday’s touchline altercation was then concluded with a smile and a handshake in the dressing room. Again, though, Mancini was unhappy that he was left to face difficult questions about something other than his team’s win.

Key man: Tevez has been instrumental for City this season

Mancini is far from the perfect man-manager. Those who know him appreciate this. He is, however, beginning to make gestures. This week, for example, senior players not travelling to Turin have had input into their training schedule.

His concern now is that the latest issue regarding Tevez is not allowed to undermine a team spirit that continues to improve on the back of a run of good results and promising performances.

Last night the latest suggestions from Tevez’s side were that the former West Ham and United player is simply determined to leave or, indeed, quit the game completely.

City remain determined that will not happen in January. Given the club’s wealth and Tevez’s long contract, they do hold a certain amount of power. However, this could yet turn into the stuff of nightmares for them.

It has been suggested at times that City are a one-man team. They could be about to find out.

The comments below have been moderated in advance.

The views expressed in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline.

We are no longer accepting comments on this article.

Who is this week's top commenter? Find out now