Mancini says Tevez could play for City 'next week'

 

With a faltering away record threatening to undermine their challenge for a first English title in 44 years, Manchester City's manager, Roberto Mancini, has opened the door wide to the prodigal son who is Carlos Tevez.

City go into today's game at Aston Villa with only one victory in their past six away games, against the bottom club Wigan. That run has included defeats at Chelsea, Everton and Sunderland, during which they scored only one goal despite abundant possession. It contrasts with home form that has brought 12 straight victories at an average of more than three goals per game.

Meanwhile Tevez remains with his family in Argentina, his representatives having failed to conclude a transfer during the January window. Carlo Ancelotti, the coach of the newly enriched Paris Saint-Germain, has admitted wanting him but says Tevez's wage demands priced him out of even the Qatari-backed French club's wage scale.

The stand-off with City is estimated to have cost him several million pounds in fines and unpaid wages after he refused to warm up during a Champions' League match away to Bayern Munich at the end of September. Having declared at the time that he was "finished" with the club, Mancini now says: "Everyone knows that Tevez is a top player and if he was here we would probably do better because Carlos can change a lot of games. But we haven't had him here and I don't know what's happened, maybe he can come back next week and he can help us in the last three months."

The club have registered him for the rest of the season and believe that a lack of fitness would not be a problem for long. "It depends on his condition now, whether it's good or not," Mancini said. "He hasn't played for four months but Carlos recovers strength very quickly."

Tevez has started only one of the side's 24 League games to date and although the leading scorer Sergio Aguero, Edin Dzeko and Mario Balotelli (who is suspended today) have scored 36 goals between them, the manager says he would have used him in many of those games: "We played a lot of games with only one striker. Against Liverpool, United, that was the problem because Mario was injured and played only 20 minutes. There were other games where we only had two strikers and we did not have any change on the bench, another striker [or] another winger."

Mancini added: "Carlos knows the situation and I don't know what will happen next week, but if Carlos comes back we will talk. I don't have any problems."

The home record included a 4-1 demolition of Villa whose season has been described by their manager Alex McLeish as "a bit of a rollercoaster". The home form has tended to be the worst part of it, with only three wins in 12 games and disenchanted supporters, many of whom opposed McLeish's arrival from their closest rivals Birmingham City last summer, are planning a protest march today.

Aston Villa v Manchester City is on Sky Sports 1 today, kick-off 4pm

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas