Manchester City are not willing to contemplate letting Carlos Tevez go for less than £50m this summer, despite the potentially disruptive consequences of him being forced to stay at the club against his will.
City believe the striker's development in the past two years has now placed him in the same price bracket as Fernando Torres, and the fact City are weighing up a price at all offers the first clear indication that they are willing to sell their talisman.
A £50m price tag certainly limits the number of clubs who would be capable of taking the 27-year-old and that may mean a difficult summer ahead with the player, who could feel himself to be priced out of the market.
Italy would seem the most likely destination, but only Internazionale could afford that kind of sum. Roma and Juventus are other potential buyers, though neither side will be playing Champions League football next season.
The striker has not played for four weeks and appears to be a doubt for the visit of Tottenham next Tuesday. Roberto Mancini has said he must face Spurs to be considered for the FA Cup final. City are still unclear on Tevez's intentions, though Mancini may welcome a £50m boost to his coffers as the cash at his disposal in the summer is partly dependent on converting winter loan deals into permanent sales.
Even if a Champions League place can be secured, the transfer market philosophy at City will be based far more on value in the months ahead.
Uefa hope to begin work as early as October shadowing clubs who are at risk of falling foul of Michel Platini's Financial Fair Play regime. Despite the strictures on Mancini, a move for Udinese forward Alexis Sanchez is likely, with Bolton's Gary Cahill possibly another on the list. (© Independent News Service)