Premier League - Paper Round: The Mail get lippy with Tevez
The Rugby World Cup and the nocturnal activities of players who are so often held to be much better role models than those dastardly Premier League footballers mean that football gossip is a bit thin on the ground on Sunday morning.
Leading the way is the Mail on Sunday, who have enlisted the help of "forensic lip readers" to ascertain that Tevez did indeed refuse to come on as a substitute in the Champions League game against Bayern Munich, despite the player himself claiming that the incident was merely a misunderstanding.
Their 'experts' - usually something of a dirty word at the Mail - claim Tevez told a member of City's backroom staff: "No, leave me alone. I've said no", before adding, "Well, who cares? I'm not going to".
However, the funniest part of their revelations come in the claim that Aleksandar Kolarov told Tevez: "You're an idiot."
The Sunday Express, meanwhile, reports that Tevez was hoping to fly back to Argentina after being suspended by City, only to be informed by the club that they required him to remain in England as the investigation into his conduct in Munich continues.
The guessing game over his likely destination continues with the Sunday Mirror suggesting that Inter and Paris Saint Germain will be leading the hunt for the Argentina international in January. Both teams have been linked with Tevez already so that isn't particularly new, but the Mirror does suggest Inter will offer £25 million, a full £15m less than his valuation.
The paper also carries quotes from Micah Richards, who has criticised his team-mate for his behaviour in Munich.
“Carlos’s reaction in Munich was wrong," Richards said. "It was something he shouldn’t have done. There was always going to be a bit of tension because Carlos is a top player and hasn’t been getting in the team. But there was no sign that he was going to do what he did.
“I like Carlos. He’s probably still the best player that I have played with and I’ll always be grateful he came to City and helped us achieve what we did last season. He’s been our best player for the last couple of years and won’t be happy the manager has been picking other strikers ahead of him.
“But we are a top team now. We can’t just be about one or two players because if you want to challenge for the big trophies it has to be about the strength of your squad."
The last thing City need as they attempt to deal with the fall-out from the situation is Joey Barton weighing in with his own perspective, but the former City midfielder has done just that.
“It was only a matter of time before this was going to happen at Manchester City," Barton said, speaking at an event to promote the release of a new computer game that you may or may not have seen various footballers banging on about incessantly on Twitter. “You’ve 10 outfield places with 23 world-class players competing for them. It was only a matter of time before one of them threw the toys out of the pram.
“Unfortunately, this is where the game has gone. You have players demanding moves and saying, ‘If you don’t let me go, I’ll not play’. It’s like a soap opera. Thankfully it’s nothing to do with my club.
“I don’t know what’s gone on but no doubt it will play out in the media. The media will love this. As a football fan first and foremost, well most fans would give everything they have. They have dreams about scoring the winning goal in a Champions League game. We don’t know the full facts. Tevez seems a genuine footballer who loves playing and gives his all when he’s on the pitch. But the news coming out hasn’t been great.”
Finally, things are far from rosy at Fulham, with the Sunday Mirror claiming a senior player has complained about manager Martin Jol. The mystery man said: "There is quite a bit of unrest at the club and it appears to be growing. He doesn't seem to feel he needs to explain why he's making changes to the team and rotating the squad.
"You can play well and he will just drop you for no reason and you can't do that to senior pros at a football club."