Inter Milan striker Adriano may not return from his Christmas holiday in Brazil as Flamengo is trying to negotiate a deal while he is across the Atlantic and away from his club.
The troubled hit-man was allowed to leave for an early break despite Inter still having one game to play in Serie A. Speculation about a possible move has hit the roof, as a number of reports claim this was a sign of the Nerazzurri's care-free stance on whether or not Adriano stays at the San Siro.
Il Corriere Dello Sport reports that Flamengo has already made contact with Adriano, and a meeting is expected to take place over the next few days.
All this is likely to come as news to Inter and agent Gilmar Rinaldi as both parties denied any moves on Monday.
Although the Brazilians are keen on L'imperatore, his high wage demands may throw a wrench in the works and prevent any chance of progress.
The race is on to find a new sponsor who will pump money into the club for Adriano. Another option would be for the striker to accept a pay cut, but it's unlikely he would look at that option.
Inter seems reluctant to sell its man as it has worked hard to get him back in shape, but it may lose him if Flamengo finds the cash.