Tevez on verge of being stripped of captaincy

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The Independent Football

Roberto Mancini is considering removing the Manchester City captaincy from Carlos Tevez, temporarily at least, as the player may not be in the right mental state to lead the side against Everton on Monday.

Tevez met Mancini yesterday afternoon for the first time since news of his transfer demand became public, though he and his personal manager Kia Joorabchian both had clashing personal commitments later in the day which prevented them discussing the meeting. Joorabchian is awaiting an understanding of Mancini's position before making contact with the City chief executive Garry Cook. There has been no contact between the two this week.

If Tevez is relieved of the captaincy while his future with City is worked out – a decision which could make the process of persuading him to stay even more delicate – Vincent Kompany may take on the role for the visit of Everton. He was many observers' choice for the captaincy in the summer, before Tevez was unexpectedly declared club captain at Tottenham on the first Saturday of the season. Mancini, who has said that Tevez will face Everton, has always insisted that the captaincy was bestowed upon Tevez to aid his personal development, rather than to keep him happy at City.

Mancini's hopes of a prompt meeting with the Argentine yesterday morning were thwarted when the squad's flight home from Turin was cancelled by a technical fault. Mancini was keen to travel in the early hours but they travelled yesterday morning instead, only arriving in Manchester at 11.30am.

City's football administrator Brian Marwood said he was confident Tevez would stay. "The statement put out earlier in the week, we've not wavered from that. Carlos has three and a half years on his contract, we've rejected his transfer request and he's come into training and been extremely professional. He's conducted himself very well, we're very pleased with his attitude and application, and I don't see that changing."

Micah Richards, captain for City's draw at Juventus which propelled them into the Europa League first knockout round where they face Greek side Aris Thessaloniki, said Tevez was City's "special one" and integral to their season.

"He's a big part of our team," said Richards. "If you ask anyone, they will tell you that. I think they will get it sorted out and the sooner, the better. He's got his opinions and stuff, but I'm sure we can keep him until the end of the season at least. I'm sure he will be in the starting XI [on Monday]. We need him in our team if we want to achieve what we want to achieve. He's our main man and our captain. There are other people. We've still got [Emmanuel] Adebayor and [Mario] Balotelli, and we've got Jo, who I thought had a fantastic game against Juventus. But Carlos is our special one and we need him in our team. We all know that."

The Manchester derby at Old Trafford has been moved to a 12.45pm kick-off on Saturday 12 February – rather than the scheduled 1.30pm kick-off on Sunday 13, now that City are scheduled to play in Thessaloniki on Tuesday 15.