City sense victory in battle to oust Tevez

Unauthorised absence plays into Mancini's hands, as do missed sessions due to 'injury'

Carlos Tevez failed to offer an explanation of his unauthorised absence in Argentina yesterday and played right into Roberto Mancini's hands by giving the manager every reason not to allow him to wear the Manchester City shirt on a field of play again.

The striker has missed as many as four training sessions, having reported in with injuries, since he was told he would be forced to work with the reserves last month. His failure to come anywhere near the level of Premier League match fitness, compounded by this week's disappearance to Buenos Aires, has left City increasingly confident that Mancini will be within his rights to make good on his promise that the player is "finished" at the club.

City had been deeply concerned by Article 15 of Fifa's regulations, which would entitle the player to terminate his contract next summer if he has not been given adequate playing time. The club had briefed the manager on the regulation – which could lead to a challenge from the former captain at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) – and told him that he might have to give Tevez the equivalent of 10 per cent of the side's game time this season, effectively four full games.

But if Tevez remains at the club beyond January and continues his recalcitrance, City would argue in the strongest terms possible at CAS that he is not in the right physical state to be given that game time. How he can have sustained new injuries preventing him maintaining a personal fitness regime is particularly baffling, considering that the demands of him in training are extremely limited.

There is little doubt that Mancini would be delighted to make good on his initial pledge that Tevez's City days were over, made in the aftermath of the club's Champions League match against Bayern Munich in September and the dispute over the player's role as a substitute. Though last week the manager held out the prospect of Tevez playing again if he said sorry, it was not an olive branch. Mancini was just seeking a way through a mess.

Tevez may have located one for him. Fifa regulations governing the Status and Transfer of Players stipulate that the striker is entitled to terminate his contract under "sporting just cause" if he is effectively left to rot on the sidelines. But legal opinion yesterday supported City's view that Tevez's conduct may allow them to challenge his use of that clause.

There was also evidence yesterday of the way that Tevez's conduct may be contributing to disharmony between the club and other players. It is understood that at least two of the small group of reserves the Argentine has been training with – Nedum Ohuoha and Wayne Bridge – were under the impression that they had been granted all of this week off. Ohuoha quickly booked a holiday and Bridge was also preparing not train. But City's coaching staff then indicated that the break which had been allocated to first-team players not on international duty did not include the reserves. Ohuoha and Bridge feel that the latest Tevez saga has contributed to their being kept back at Carrington.

Daniel Geey, a solicitor at Field Fisher Waterhouse, said yesterday that players invoking Article 15 are considered on a case-by-case basis and that a player's individual circumstances do form an important part of proceedings. "City could not say for certain that circumstances such as these would weigh for or against them when an Article 15 assessment is made," Mr Geey said. "But it would be something that they could use."

Tevez's representatives made no comment last night.

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
CSKA Moscow celebrate after equalising with a late penalty

Arts and Entertainment
Life and Style
Designer Oscar de la Renta takes a bow after showing his Spring 2015 collection in September, his last show before his death
fashionThe passing of the legendary designer has left a vacancy: couturier to America’s royalty, says fashion editor Alexander Fury
Life and Style

Company reveals $542m investment in start-up building 'a rocket ship for the mind'

Bourgogne wine maker Laboure-Roi vice president Thibault Garin (L) offers the company's 2013 Beaujolais Nouveau wine to the guest in the wine spa at the Hakone Yunessun spa resort facilities in Hakone town, Kanagawa prefecture, some 100-kilometre west of Tokyo
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

How to Get Away with Murder

Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
A cup of tea is every worker's right

Hard to swallow

Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
Which animals are nearly extinct?

Which animals are nearly extinct?

Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
12 best children's shoes

Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Let's talk about loss

We need to talk about loss

Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Women may be better suited to space travel than men are
Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why