Premier League

Mancini expects new Tevez deal

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Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini expects discussions over a possible new contract for striker Carlos Tevez to be held in due course.

The Argentinian's current deal expires in the summer of 2014 and Mancini feels there is plenty of time to consider what might happen beyond that term.

The former Manchester United star said in a TV interview last August he was happy to remain at the Etihad Stadium until the end of his contract and would even consider extending his stay.

He added that the problems of last season, when he was embroiled in an infamous dispute with the club, were firmly in the past and no longer an issue. Despite that, there has been speculation as to what might happen when his deal ends.

Mancini said: "I don't know what Carlos thinks about this. We have another 18 months and I think we have the time to talk with him about this.

"When Carlos takes his decision, he will talk with us." City would risk losing Tevez for a reduced fee, or even for nothing, if his contract was allowed to run down.

Tevez, 28, has restored his eminent position in Mancini's squad since returning from an unauthorized three-month break in Argentina during the height of his notorious stand-off with City.

He played a key role in last season's Barclays Premier League title run-in and has scored nine goals this term. Mancini was asked whether a one-year extension could be an option for Tevez, as that would prevent his value decreasing.

Speaking at a press conference to preview this weekend's game at Arsenal, Mancini said: "Yes, this could be because Carlos is 28 and he has other years to play. I think that this could be an option."

Mancini has been impressed with Tevez's attitude in training and during games and feels he is a good role model for the unpredictable Mario Balotelli.

Mancini said: "His behavior is very good, he works very well. He is an important player because he has experience in this moment and also now he can help Mario which is important."

Tevez scored in last weekend's FA Cup third-round win over Watford at the Etihad Stadium, his first goal in seven appearances.

Tevez later said the strikers had been motivated by Mancini's claims he was "very close" to signing Robin van Persie last summer and that the prolific Dutchman was now the difference between City and United.

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini expects discussions over a possible new contract for striker Carlos Tevez to be held in due course.

City face van Persie's former club Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday hoping to cut a seven-point deficit on United at the top of the Premier League.

Mancini said: "Arsenal are always a good team. They lost an important player in van Persie - for them he was the best. A player that scores a goal every game is very important. But this doesn't change (anything), they are a good team."

City have not won a league game at Arsenal for 37 years and their 1-0 defeat at the Emirates in April appeared to deal a terminal blow to their title hopes. It left them eight points behind United with just six games remaining but they managed to turn the situation around to take the Premier League crown.

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Because of that, Mancini is not concerned about the current situation which sees City trailing United by seven points, even if it was to worsen this weekend.

He said: "They (United) play at home against Liverpool and we play against Arsenal away. Everything is possible in this moment but it doesn't change anything.

"Last year United recovered when we were five points up and after Arsenal we went eight points behind. United recovered 13 points. So, we can recover 10. It is not a problem."

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