Preventing wayward striker Carlos Tevez from leaving for AC Milan in January was a ‘hell of a gamble’, claims Manchester City chairman Khaldoon al-Mubarak.
The 28-year-old Argentine reportedly cost the Blues £47million to drag him away from rivals Manchester United but the player caused havoc with his self-imposed exile.
After a bust-up with manager Roberto Mancini, Tevez left the club for four months and refused to play – spouting thoughts he would leave in the winter transfer window.
But the club refused offers from European giants as they did not want to let their talisman of old leave cheaply.
"It was a landmark," al Mubarak wrote in a new book called ‘Richer than God’. "We cannot allow ourselves, as a club, to be mucked around.”
He added: "It was a hell of a gamble for me, not to let him leave for AC Milan in January, because he could have sat out all year, but not played for us and lost his value.
"But I was firm that we are not rich people to be taken advantage of, to give him what he wants and let the market screw us."
The decision inevitably was the right one as the forward returned to the Etihad in February, buried the hatchet with Mancini and played a pivotal role in capturing City’s first Premier League title.