Tevez back on bench after City exile
Carlos Tevez was named among Manchester City's substitutes for Wednesday's Premier League clash against Chelsea at Eastlands, ending a six-month exile.sports Updated: Mar 22, 2012 01:52 IST
Carlos Tevez was named among Manchester City's substitutes for Wednesday's Premier League clash against Chelsea at Eastlands, ending a six-month exile.
Tevez hasn't featured for City since refusing to warm up during a Champions League group stage defeat at Bayern Munich in September, but boss Roberto Mancini has opted to bring the Argentine striker back into the fold.
Mancini was furious with Tevez's behaviour against Bayern and initially insisted the former Manchester United strike would never play for the club again.
But with City's challenge for the Premier League title faltering, Mancini is willing to bury the hatchet in a bid to spark his side for the final 10 league games of the season.
City, who need to beat Chelsea to cut the gap on leaders Manchester United to one point, had hoped to sell Tevez during the January transfer window and the player spent three months back home in Argentina while he waited for his future to be decided.
However, talks with Paris Saint Germain, AC Milan and Inter Milan all failed to produce a suitable deal for City, who were holding out for a fee of £25 million.
Tevez incured a series of fines from City during his exile as his trip to Argentina wasn't sanctioned by the club.
But he finally returned to England once it became clear he wouldn't be able to leave City this season and offered an apology to Mancini and the club for his actions.
Now, five weeks after returning to training, the 28-year-old is close to match fitness and Mancini is prepared to throw him into the Premier League title race.
Speaking recently, Mancini said: "What happened with Carlo six months ago is in the past. Carlo is part of our plans for the last two months, he is a City player.
"I think Carlo in this moment wants to play football. He needs to play football, for him and for his future. He wants to play.
"I can see in training he is perfect, better than last year. He wants to play and deserves to play and help the team. I have always thought Carlo is a top player, even when we had the problem."
Tevez is not expected to be ready to start until next month, but his availability gives Mancini the extra attacking option of the club's top scorer for the past two seasons.