Carlos Tevez, whose prematurely born daughter is on a life-support machine, feels unable to leave Argentina until she is out of danger, despite knowing that he is in the form of his life and needed for Manchester City's visit to Chelsea on Saturday.
Despite the City manager Roberto Mancini's frustration about his 19-goal striker's continued absence, Tevez is by no means certain to face Carlo Ancelotti's side, not having even decided yet when he can leave Buenos Aires, where daughter Katie is wired up to several machines and cannot yet breathe on her own.
Tevez is unaware of Mancini's expressions of frustration that followed Sunday's 0-0 draw with Liverpool and has no view on them, as his representatives have not communicated Mancini's feelings to the player.
But he is understood to be profoundly frustrated: keen to return to Manchester but aware that to leave his wife, Vanesa, and daughter now, then learn that the child's condition had taken a turn for the worse, is something he would have to live with for the rest of his life. With his wife understood to be anxious about the prospect of him returning, Tevez will only leave his native country when doctors give him an understanding it is safe to do so and the word last night was that the 26-year-old must continue to wait for such assurances.
He is unlikely to arrive before Thursday at the earliest and will discover tomorrow whether that might be a realistic aim.
Mancini suggested after the goalless draw with Liverpool that Tevez had been "ordered" back to the club, having been granted eight days' compassionate leave after complications with the pregnancy. The club quickly qualified his comments, indicating that Mancini had not grasped the nature of two questions which were put to him – Was he ordered back? Did he refuse? – before he had answered "yes" to both.
Tevez's representatives are less than enamoured with Mancini's implication that they have not kept City fully informed on the situation and say they have been in daily contact with the club's football administrator, Brian Marwood, leaving him to make the necessary communications to Mancini.
Several missed calls between Tevez's adviser Kia Joorabchian and Marwood on Sunday afternoon have contributed to the situation, though Joorabchian declared yesterday that City had been kept fully informed.
"When your child is in intensive care, it is a very serious matter," Joorabchian said. "When these things happen you have to deal with them and obviously he is having to go through a very difficult period. The signs are very positive in terms of his daughter's recovery and we are all hoping this is the case. He was determined to get back for the Liverpool game, but unfortunately the situation didn't get much better. However, she has got better over the weekend and Carlos hopes things will get better, for his daughter's sake and because he wants to get back and play."
Mancini's concerns about how much training Tevez has been able to undertake have been played down by Joorabchian, who insisted Tevez has been training with Diego Maradona's national squad.
In Tevez's absence, City have been held to home draws by Stoke and Liverpool, leaving the field to boos both times.Reuse content