Carlos Tevez has been told that he must return to Shanghai Shenhua by December 26 if his troubled spell in China is to continue.
The Argentine secured a switch to the Chinese Super League (CSL) in December 2016 amid much fanfare, with a lucrative transfer package luring him away from his homeland at Boca Juniors.
The 33-year-old former Manchester United and Juventus forward has, however, struggled for form in Asia, which has sparked endless rounds of speculation regarding his future.
Shenhua admit that they are currently unaware of what Tevez has planned, but have warned him to be back by Boxing Day if he intends to remain on their books.
"We have informed him that he would have to return to the squad on December 26," Shanghai Shenhua spokesman Ma Yue said in a press briefing.
"But whether he will come back or not, it depends on his own decision."
Tevez, who is reported to be earning a weekly salary of £615,000 in China, managed only four goals during his debut CSL campaign.
He faced criticism regarding his weight and form, and was left out by Shenhua for both legs of their Chinese FA Cup final clash with rivals Shanghai SIPG.
Goal understands that Tevez is now considered to be surplus to requirements, with work being carried out behind the scenes to try and secure him a move elsewhere.
Shenhua have openly admitted that they would be open to sanctioning a sale and it is up to the South American frontman to decide what he wants to do next.
"Tevez will decide whether to stay or leave. His future hinges on the decision made by himself instead of Shenhua Football Club," Shenhua said during a news briefing in late November.
"Tevez's attitude, of which Shenhua have no control, will have a direct bearing on his performance. In other words, even if Shenhua really want to keep him at the club and see him play well, Tevez still has the final say.
"It is true that we have received bids from other clubs to buy Tevez, but Shenhua hope he express his true feelings first. Otherwise all efforts will go in vain.
"Shenhua have no chance of selling Tevez to a club where he doesn't want to join."