Mancini clears the air with Tevez and earns ‘happy’ striker’s full commitment

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The Independent Football

Roberto Mancini met Carlos Tevez on Thursday to discuss the Argentinian striker's future and has received a categoric assurance that he wants to be at Eastlands next season, the Manchester City manager said yesterday.

Mancini, who insisted last week that players who wished to leave the club should go, tackled the issue of his double training sessions during their meeting, after the club's player of the year publicly challenged him on the issue before last month's derby against United. The Italian was clearly willing to cede no ground in what he perceives as a vital part of the training regime but insisted Tevez had accepted this.

"I wanted to speak to Carlos because I wanted to know from him if he was happy to play here and happy to [train] two times a day," Mancini said. "He's a very important player for the club and he told me that he was happy. It's important because Carlos is a top player and when you are a top player you must also be an example for all the players.

"I'm serious about the double training. When we have a week with no midweek matches there will be one day when we have double sessions. I have always done that. I wanted to know if Carlos was happy and he is very happy to play for City.

"Because we have qualified for the Europa League, the chances are we will be playing nearly every Thursday and Sunday. But if we want to improve we must work harder than this year."

The club never rule out the unexpected where Tevez is concerned, given the influence his representatives carry with him, but Mancini seems convinced he has no need to spend his summer fretting about the forward. "When we start the season we will want to win the league and Carlos said he wanted to do that with City," Mancini added.

For the manager, who intends to offer midfielder Patrick Vieira a one-year optional contract extension, the Tevez meeting reinforces a feeling that he has won the power struggle which followed his own arrival at City and a different, more tactical approach to training than his predecessor Mark Hughes took. Mancini's round of discussions with individuals will also include Stephen Ireland, who has said he fears for his own future, and Craig Bellamy, an emotional character whom Mancini still does not entirely understand.