Tevez apologises and clears path for recall


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The Independent Online

Carlos Tevez last night sought to salvage his Manchester City career, by issuing an apology for his conduct in the last five, turbulent months.

The Argentine has thus made himself available again for first-team football, having made the gesture which City's manager, Roberto Mancini, had repeatedly said was the only necessary action to facilitate his return. Tevez has also withdrawn his appeal to the Premier League over £1.18m in fines exacted by City for his unauthorised, three-month stay in Argentina, from where he returned eight days ago.

Tevez has not met Mancini since his return to Manchester, which was preceded by a television interview in which he accused the club of treating him "like a dog". It remains to be seen whether last night's 39-word apology – which included no direct reference to the Italian – will repair the relationship. There are no guarantees.

However, the apology – which was made after a meeting at Carrington yesterday afternoon between Tevez and City's football administrator, Brian Marwood – was issued with Mancini's blessing and, as the manager was kept informed of progress yesterday, he is understood to be happy with the outcome. Mancini is a pragmatist and he will not consider a U-turn on his vow that a return for Tevez is "impossible" to represent a loss of face. The apology was issued with the sanction and blessing of the club's Abu Dhabi owners.

The statement read: "I wish to apologise sincerely and unreservedly to everybody I have let down and to whom my actions over the last few months have caused offence. My wish is to concentrate on playing football for Manchester City Football Club."

Tevez's fitness has surprised some at City– he may be only two weeks away from being able to play. Though the Argentine's 3.30pm arrival for two hours' fitness training yesterday again failed to coincide with the hours that Mancini keeps at the club's Carrington base, the lack of a meeting owed more to working hours than bad feeling.

It remains to be seen how City fans will respond, though there does not appear to be a groundswell of distaste. Neither has Tevez received a negative response from team-mates. Samir Nasri said yesterday: "We need someone with that quality."