Carlos Tevez placed the prospects of a reconciliation with Roberto Mancini in jeopardy last night, declaring ahead of his return to England today that the Manchester City manager had treated him "like a dog" during their pitch-side dispute in Munich and questioning Mancini's sincerity in holding out the prospect of a first team return.
In a wide-ranging interview on South American television, in which he hailed Sir Alex Ferguson as one of his two greatest former managers alongside the ex-Argentina coach Marcelo Bielsa, Tevez (right) revealed the profound bitterness he still feels about the misconduct charge and fine of two weeks' wages over his conduct during City's Champions League defeat in Munich.
The former captain, who is expected back at the club late today, tempered his comments with a declaration that he wants to renew his career at the Etihad Stadium, after attempts to secure moves to Milan and Internazionale fell apart last month. Perhaps vitally, in the context of Mancini's demand for an apology over Munich, he also says: "If I was wrong, I say sorry. I sincerely believe I did not make a mistake." There has also been a notable absence of negative comments from team-mates in his absence and there is a prospect of him receiving a reasonable reception. But, in his first explanation of his conduct in Munich, he portrays Mancini as a manager in the throes of a steaming row with a recalcitrant Edin Dzeko when he lashed out verbally at Tevez as well in Germany. Tevez, who portrays himself as baffled at having been stripped of the captaincy and reduced to the bench, described how Dzeko and Mancini began arguing after the Bosnian was unhappy to be substituted in the Allianz Arena.
"Dzeko referred to Bosnia and Mancini swore at him in Italian, so it was a real mess," said Tevez, who had been told to warm up. "So I go and sit down and he doesn't see me because he is having this discussion. But then he turns around and sees me and you can imagine what happens. He's in the middle of an argument – so he tells me to keep warming up and treats me like a dog. So when he spoke to me in that tone of voice I said, 'no, I'm not going out'. I was willing to play but the coach was in such a foul mood because he had that argument with Dzeko he started on me as well." City made no comment last night.