Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini has delivered a thinly-veiled attack on Kia Joorabchian by claiming Carlos Tevez has received bad advice during his time with the Blues.
And in an equally stinging assessment, Mancini has questioned Wayne Bridge's motives for staying at City, hinting that the defender was more interested in money than the game.
City officials will meet AC Milan counterparts on Thursday in an attempt to thrash out a deal that would allow Tevez to leave for Italy during next month's transfer window.
The obvious problem is that Milan want to negotiate an initial loan period, which would then turn into a permanent transfer in the summer.
City are not willing to countenance this and meanwhile, the player remains in Argentina, where he has repeatedly been pictured playing golf.
"We were better with Carlos in the squad because he is a fantastic striker," said Mancini, ahead of Wednesday night's Premier League encounter with Stoke.
"I had a good relationship with him and he was always well behaved.
"I don't know what happened but it was really strange and frustrating because we were better, 100 per cent."
Asked directly whether Tevez had received some bad advice, Mancini replied: "Yes."
Tevez's advisor, Joorabchian used to have a close relationship with the City hierarchy but, as they eased him away, so the club have made a link with Tevez becoming increasingly difficult to deal with.
Twice the 27-year-old slapped in transfer requests, citing personal problems and a desire to settle somewhere more acceptable to his wife and two young daughters.
Despite interest from wealthy French outfit Paris St-Germain, AC Milan appear to be his preferred destination.
Yet Mancini is adamant they will need to come up with the money.
"When Manchester City buy a player, they have to pay a lot of money," he said.
"But when we want to sell them, they have to go on loan. This is not good. It is not correct for the other players.
"Manchester City paid Carlos a lot of money for three years. It is correct that if one club, it could be Milan, Juventus, PSG, Inter, want him, they pay Carlos for his value. This is correct.
"They can't have him on loan, 100 per cent."
Whilst it could be argued there is little point keeping Tevez on the playing staff, where he is a distraction in the overall aim of winning the Premier League title, Mancini feels that a player in the peak years of his career should not voluntarily miss an entire season.
To that end, the City boss simply does not understand Bridge.
An England international two years ago, Bridge knew last year he had no future with the Blues and spent the last half of the season on loan at West Ham.
However, collecting a weekly salary believed to be around £90,000, the former Chelsea man has found no-one willing to match those terms, even though there are plenty, including Celtic according to Mancini, who would like to sign him.
"I don't understand why there are some players that have a chance to go and play, maybe not in the Premier League but in the Championship, and don't," said Mancini.
"I don't know why you would want to stay at a club where you can't play.
"When we are young and start to play football we don't play for money, we play because we like football. Every player should have this target in mind - to play football.
"Wayne is a good guy, but he had two or three chances in the summer, including Celtic, who are an important team.
"He trains with us sometimes and sometimes with the young players but I hope, for him, he leaves in January because it's difficult for a player to stay training every day."
Meanwhile, Mancini has confirmed he is fighting a losing battle in his attempts to delay the departure of Yaya and Kolo Toure to the African Nations Cup.
City were hoping to have the pair available for a Premier League trip to Wigan on January 16, just five days before the tournament kicks-off.
However, this idea has so far been rebuffed by the Ivory Coast, who are insisting the pair join up a week earlier than that, which would make them available for the FA Cup tie with Manchester United but not the following Wednesday's Carling Cup semi-final first-leg against Liverpool.
"I think they will leave after United, two weeks before the start of the African Cup," said Mancini.
"If we can find another solution with the Ivory Coast federation, that will be good, but it is difficult."
Stoke defender Robert Huth believes revenge will not be on the agenda when the Potters bid to extend their Premier League winning streak to five games.
Stoke lost the FA Cup final to Mancini's side in May but Huth has placed the emphasis on getting three points at the Etihad Stadium rather than settling a score for the Wembley defeat.
The German, who helped Stoke win 2-1 at Wolves over the weekend which extended his side's winning run in the league to four games, has predicted a difficult time against a City side leading the table after winning their past 15 home matches.
Huth said of the FA Cup final defeat: "It doesn't mean anything really, that happened seven or eight months ago.
"They won the game fair and square and we have moved on from that.
"We don't want any sort of revenge, we are just concerned about getting the results we want, for us, and not worrying about whether it impacts the other side or not."
Huth has been enthused by City's run in the league and also progress to the last 32 of the Europa League.
"It's been a great few weeks for us in terms of picking up points and progressing in Europe, but we know that Wednesday night will be incredibly tough for us," he told the club website.
"They are one of the best sides in the country, if not Europe, so we are under absolutely no illusions as to the size of the task in front of us because they are going so well at the moment.
"We have had a few good results though so we can take that into the game with us; but even with that we know it will be an incredibly tough evening for us. We will give it our best shot though."
Stoke could be without both Ryan Shawcross and Glenn Whelan for the difficult trip to the Etihad Stadium.
Defender Shawcross is definitely out as he is suspended after picking up his fifth yellow card in the win at Wolves.
Midfielder Whelan is a doubt with a calf muscle injury suffered at Molineux and full-back Andy Wilkinson is likely to miss out again with a back problem.