Carlos Tevez is considering suing Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini for defamation in the latest twist to the on-going saga involving the Argentinian striker, it was reported on Wednesday.
Several British media outlets reported Tevez was mulling a lawsuit against Mancini after the 27-year-old was hit with an estimated Â£1 million fine for his stand-off with the Italian in Munich last month.
Mancini accused Tevez of refusing to appear as a substitute during City's 2-0 Champions League defeat at Bayern Munich, saying he was "finished" at the club.
Tevez denies Mancini's claims, saying the incident was a misunderstanding and that he had only refused to warm-up because he felt it was unnecessary.
But the South American, one of the highest paid players in the Premier League with an estimated salary of £250,000 a week, was found guilty of misconduct on Tuesday following a City disciplinary hearing and fined four weeks' wages.
Tevez has 14 days to decide whether to lodge an appeal to the club's board of directors. If Tevez appeals, he could take his case to the Premier League, a process which could take the saga into December.
Several reports on Wednesday said City were willing to adopt a hardline stance over Tevez, with the Daily Telegraph stating club officials believed the Munich furore was triggered by a decision to withdraw loyalty bonuses.
And although Tevez's re-sale value has been damaged by the saga, City officials are determined to deny the player the opportunity to cash in on a quick sale to a new club, saying he will only be sold at market value.
"I can confirm that, following a telephone call between Roberto Mancini and the chairman, Khaldoon al-Mubarak, on Tuesday, the club's formal position is that no offer for Carlos Tevez will be considered unless it reflects true market value," a Manchester City spokesman told the Telegraph.
Tevez was one of the mainstays of City's campaign last season, captaining the club to victory in the FA Cup and contributing to their success in qualifying for the Champions League.
However, the striker's relationship with Mancini remained strained after his unsuccessful bids to broker a move away from Eastlands.
The arrival of Sergio Aguero and Samir Nasri over the summer left Tevez further marginalised, with the player making just two starts before he was placed on the bench for the ill-fated Bayern clash.