[unable to retrieve full-text content]
â€¢ Striker has impressed since returning from Argentina
â€¢ Roberto Mancini eager to leave problems in the past
Carlos Tevez could yet remain at Manchester City beyond the end of the season despite his problems at the club. Tevez has impressed with his attitude and desire to regain match fitness since returning to the club in mid-February, with some prominent players hopeful that he might have been included for the Premier League match at Swansea City on Sunday, which City lost 1-0.
Tevez spent five months in Argentina after his falling out with the manager, Roberto Mancini, for his refusal to warm up during a Champions League game at Bayern Munich in September.
A move away from the Etihad Stadium in the summer is still the more likely outcome but there is no definitive position, and, given the warm reception from every player since his return, and Mancini’s determination to put his and Tevez’s issues firmly behind him, all options remain open.
Tevez has apologised to City and knuckled down to regaining his fitness ahead of a potential return to the first team. Following the defeat at the Liberty Stadium, Micah Richards characterised the warmth towards the forward when he said: “There were games last season where Carlos carried us on his own. In matches like the one at Swansea he would get a 1-0 win for us. Ultimately it’s up to the manager but I’d love to see him back. I’ve always been a big fan of Tevez â€“ when I’m asked about him I always say I love him.”
Provided there are no setbacks in his recovery, Tevez is almost certain to be included in the squad for the crucial Premier League visit of Chelsea on Wednesday week, a game that has now taken on added significance due to City’s defeat and Manchester United’s win on Sunday. This allowed Sir Alex Ferguson’s side to overtake City and move ahead as league leaders by a point.
Despite originally being pencilled in, Tevez will not feature for City’s reserve team against Nijmegen in the Netherlands on Wednesday evening as the club step up his fitness regime with a view to having the forward available for the encounter with Chelsea.
As United go to Wolverhampton Wanderers on Sunday, City could go into the match with the west London club trailing by four points, so Mancini may welcome the presence of Tevez, who has scored 44 goals in 69 league appearances, in the squad.
On Sunday, Mancini said Tevez was still 10 days away from being ready, and after he started the two previous reserve games â€“ scoring in last week’s match against Bolton Wanderers â€“ it was decided that he would benefit more from further intensive training in and around the first-team squad.
Joleon Lescott, who has a groin problem, is a doubt for the Europa League last-16 second-leg tie against Sporting Lisbon on Thursday. City trail 1-0 after the first game in Portugal.