Mackay, 41, was reportedly on the verge of leaving the Premier League club after being told to resign or face being sacked by the controversial Malaysian owner.

He suffered a public rebuke from Tan earlier in the week after angering the club's supremo by asking to sign at least three players during the January transfer window.

Mackay was told by Tan that he wouldn't get any new funds in the New Year because he had already been handed a significant transfer kitty following Cardiff's promotion from the Championship last season.

Tan is said to have criticised Mackay's transfer signings, style of play and results before demanding he resign or be sacked.

Mackay's position has been under scrutiny since Tan removed his head of recruitment Iain Moody in October amid suggestions of a summer transfer window overspend.

Mackay, who led Cardiff to the 2012 League Cup final before securing the Championship title last term, stated he would not resign and it is believed it could cost Tan somewhere in the region of �3 million (3.58 million euros, $4.9 million) to sack him as the manager is under contract until 2016.

The Scot did not turn up for Friday's pre-match press conference ahead of Saturday's Premier League trip to Liverpool, but left his assistant David Kerslake to field questions from the media.

The conference lasted barely five minutes and Kerslake resolutely refused to discuss Mackay's situation.

He said: "I am here to talk about the Liverpool match, I came in this morning and was asked to do the press conference.

"Malky is in the training pavilion as we speak, we are just here to talk about the game."

When asked if Mackay was still in charge, Kerslake added: "No-one has said any different to me, everything has been as normal. Players have got on with their jobs.

"Without being boring it has been a normal week."

The latest spat has seen the Scot strongly linked with the vacant West Brom manager's job.

Former Manchester United striker and current Molde boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, as well as ex-England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson have been tipped as possible replacements for Mackay.

Turkish manager Yilmaz Vural has also emerged as a contender.