The Manchester City manager, Roberto Mancini, has said that there "isn't a team that wants to take" Carlos Tevez and that it will be "difficult" for the Argentine to leave the club – where he is now expected to be stripped of the captaincy.
Tevez has been temporarily spared the public embarrassment of running out under someone else's captaincy by his unavailability for Monday night's opening fixture with Swansea City at the Etihad Stadium. But Mancini has made his mind up, with strong pressure for Vincent Kompany's appointment coming from within the dressing room.
"When Carlos plays you will see who will be the captain," said Mancini, who is likely to have Tevez's compatriot Sergio Aguero on the bench against Brendan Rodgers' side.
"I haven't told the players my decision. I know who the captain will be. For the players it's just important to think about football and playing well. The other situation is my problem."
Tevez is likely to be back in contention at Bolton next weekend. City's expectation that Internazionale's Samuel Eto'o will go to the Russian club Anzhi Makhachkala has ruled out the swap deal for Tevez that Mancini wanted.
City and Arsenal appear to have bridged the difference in valuations on Samir Nasri, with only the structure of the deal still to be hammered out last night – too late for the Frenchman to appear against Swansea.
Mancini insisted he wanted the Nasri deal completed "in the next few days". He said: "Monday is the start of the season for us and we have not completed our team. I hope we can do this very quickly because we need other players. It is important we can close our team very quick."
City's preparations for the step up to the Champions League include a far bigger press conference theatre in the depths of the stadium. Whether they will soon be filling it with media folk anxious for a mega-story, only this season will tell.Reuse content