Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini has revealed that Carlos Tevez could make the bench for Wednesday’s clash with Chelsea.
The Argentine has not been near the City first-team squad since September when he refused to warm-up during a Champions League tie at Bayern Munich.
He has spent much of the ensuing six months back home in Argentina, playing golf a lot it appeared, while a transfer away from City was set-up.
However, City’s vast resources mean they can offer players such extravagant wages that they are reluctant to give up. Numerous clubs enquired about the former Man United man but baulked at his wages as well as the fee in excess of £25million City were demanding.
So the player either had to return playing or continue his holiday – without pay of course. Tevez opted to swallow his pride and issue a formal apology to boss Mancini, meaning he could return to the first-team squad – and get paid.
He has played in a handful of reserve team games in order to regain match fitness and his return could yet be the ace card in City’s increasingly fraught attempts at winning the title.
The Etihad Stadium outfit were rampant in the first half of the season and for punters who bet on the Premier League there was only one winner. But since January their form – particularly away from home – has dipped and they now trail rivals United by four points with a game in hand.
In a strange twist of fate Tevez could go from pariah to hero if his return coincides with a final surge in form that can wrestle the initiative away from the Red Devils and tip the premier league odds back in City’s favour.
“It’s possible,” said Mancini when asked about selecting Tevez.
“He is getting better but I don’t think Carlos can have more than 25-30 minutes. He needs to play but for 90 minutes it is impossible.”