The Sunday Mirror says City are furious that, after agreeing a cut-price £6m deal with Tottenham for a player they valued at £12m, the move is collapsing over personal terms.
A City insider said: "It was felt there was two ways to handle Adebayor. Either we could ask for a fee in excess of £10m knowing we would have to spend perhaps half of that compensating the player for lost earnings.
"Or, by asking £6m, the buying club would be able to offer wages acceptable to Adebayor.
"Tottenham knew that was our intention. Now they want us to accept the lower fee and pay Adebayor off.
"Basically they want a player who scored the goals that took them to fourth place in the Premier League last season for nothing."