Carlos Tévez has been sidelined by interim Shanghai Shenhua coach Wu Jingui for being overweight and will not play again until he shapes up, the Argentinean has been warned.
The 33-year-old Tévez is one of the best-paid players on the planet on reported weekly wages of about 730,000 euros but has scored just twice this season and already has missed half his games due to injury.
The former Manchester United, Manchester City and Juventus star has hinted that he would quit China at the end of the season and has been branded "very homesick boy" by angry Shenhua fans and Chinese media.
Tévez not flavour of the month in Shanghai
Tévez recently returned to the country from a two-break in Argentina to seek treatment for a leg-muscle injury.
He was jeered when he came on as a substitute last weekend in a 2-1 home defeat, and Wu, who took over after Gus Poyet quit as coach on Monday, is taking a hardline stance.
"I had a talk with him today about tactics, but I won't let him play for now, he isn't physically ready," Wu said in an interview published Wednesday with the Shanghai Morning Post.
"Both him and [Colombian Fredy] Guarín are overweight. I need to be responsible to the team and responsible to the players.
"When you are on the pitch, if you can't play at 100 percent, then it is completely meaningless."
Tévez spotted at Disneyland during game
It is the latest sorry chapter in Tévez's turbulent nine months in China.
He angered fans of struggling Shenhua earlier this year when he missed an important match due to injury but was instead spotted at Shanghai Disneyland.
Tévez’s fitness issues mirror those of Gonzalo Higuaín, who faced criticism for his portly appearance when he reported for pre-season training with Juventus after securing an Italian record transfer from Napoli last summer. However, Higuaín responded with 32 goals in all competitions for the club as they swept to a domestic double and reached the final of the Champions League.
Ancelotti dismisses China link as a "joke"
Meanwhile, Bayern Munich boss Carlo Ancelotti has laughed off rumours that he could be plotting a switch to the CSL in January. The Bayern boss has been under the miscroscope early this season with his side sixth in the Bundesliga and some players apparently questioning the club and coach's methods. However, Ancelotti simply said of the idea: "I am supposed to be here to speak about serious things. This is a joke."