Mancini still unsure over Tevez

Mancini still unsure over Tevez

Published Jan. 30, 2012 1:16 p.m. ET

As the transfer window heads into its frenetic final stages, Tevez remains in Argentina, about to discover whether he will be forced into a rather humbling return to Manchester.

With prospective suitors Inter Milan and Paris St Germain out of the running, super-rich Russians Anzhi Makhachkala not under consideration despite claims of interest, and Tevez's former club West Ham rating their chances of luring the South American to Upton Park on loan as so slim it is barely worth discussing, Tevez looks like he will be staying at City.

Yet, as Mancini knows only too well, the last hours before deadlines can trigger amazing deals, and with AC Milan chief executive Adriano Galliani not completely ruling out a further bid, uncertainty remains.

"I don't know if he will be a City player after tomorrow," said Mancini.


The chances of Tevez not being around appear to hinge on the unlikely instance of City contacting Milan to try and resurrect a deal for a player who was mentioned in a potential swap deal with Liverpool's Andy Carroll last week.

As that tentative inquiry was snubbed, it is hard to see why the Blues would be willing to enter further negotiations with a club chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak accused of trying to sign Tevez on the cheap less than a week ago.

"I will be in the office from 0900 to 1900 hours for the last two days of the transfer window," Galliani said to Milan Channel.

"I truly believe there will be no surprises. But who knows? In football, anything can happen."

If Tevez remains a City player, it would pitch the 27-year-old back into a relationship with his manager that has never been good according to advisor Kia Joorabchian.

Yet those words, delivered on Friday, are at odds with the history of Tevez's relationship with Mancini, who continues to insist there are no issues.

"Everyone should answer for his behaviour, always," said the City manager. "These are the rules.

"If a player wants to join another club, it is an option for him. Maybe for the club it is a big problem.

"But Carlos doesn't have any problem with me."

Mancini was clear in his opinion the whole issue is an unwanted sideshow ahead of an important Premier League encounter with Everton at Goodison Park.

"Tonight we go to sleep, tomorrow we wake up and we have a game," he said.

"That is the most important thing for us between now and tomorrow night."

With Mario Balotelli serving the second game of a four-match suspension and both Yaya and Kolo Toure on African Nations Cup duty with the Ivory Coast, Mancini is relieved to have skipper Vincent Kompany available again.

The Belgium skipper has missed four matches since his controversial dismissal against Manchester United at the beginning of the month.

However, he is now free to assume the captain's armband and replace youngster Stefan Savic, who retains his manager's support despite some high-profile mistakes during Kompany's absence.

"Stefan is a young player and when you are young, you can be in trouble for nothing," said Mancini.

"Stefan should be quiet. He is a good player but he needs to improve."

Kompany is the real deal though, one of the best in Europe in Mancini's eyes.

"It is important to have Vincent back," he said.

"He is a strong defender, who has improved a lot in the last two or three years.

"He is a leader and our captain, one of the best defenders in Europe now and someone who can still improve a lot."

City's abysmal Goodison Park record of one win in 13 trips means this is a fixture that Mancini cannot take lightly as his side look to preserve their three-point lead over Manchester United.

However, with 16 games remaining, the Blues chief does concede that the title looks set to be fought out between Manchester's finest to the exclusion of everyone else.

"It is difficult for the others," he said.

"It is impossible that us and Manchester United can lose all the games.

"There are 16 games and anything can happen, including Tottenham coming back into the title race.

"But at the moment it is City and United."