How forgiving will the Etihad Stadium crowd be of their exiled striker?
Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini said Wednesday he has “no problem” with Carlos Tevez and the striker could be considered for selection in “two or three weeks,” but should he forgive him this easily?
Argentina striker Tevez only recently returned to the Premier League leaders from more than three months of self-imposed exile, having fallen out with Mancini following his refusal to warm-up during a Champions League defeat at Bayern Munich.
It looked as if he was on his way out of Eastlands after angering Italian manager Mancini.
But the former Manchester United forward failed to negotiate a move during the January transfer window, with potential transfers to AC Milan, Inter Milan and Paris Saint-Germain all falling through, and he finally flew back to England last week.
Mancini, who initially said Tevez was “finished” at the club, has maintained he would only consider the player for selection again after an apology, and the 28-year-old has complied with his manager’s demand.
And Mancini, speaking after City, without Tevez, eased through to the last 16 of the Europa League with a 4-0 (6-1 on aggregate) win over holders Porto here on Wednesday, told ESPN: “One week after Munich I called him to my house and said, ‘Carlos, apologise to everyone and it’s finished’.
“I have no problem. I think he needs two to three weeks to train, then some games,” he added.
Tevez has also withdrawn his appeal against City’s fine of six weeks’ wages for gross misconduct, which was due to be heard by the Premier League in the coming days.
In a statement released by City on Tuesday, Tevez said: “I wish to apologise sincerely and unreservedly to everybody I have let down and to whom my actions over the last few months have caused offence.
“My wish is to concentrate on playing football for Manchester City Football Club.”
While away, Tevez had been found guilty of gross misconduct and City took a firm line over his potential sale.
Tevez, who had twice previously submitted transfer requests, was estimated to have lost £9.3 million ($14.7m) in wages or bonuses over various matters.
He failed in his initial appeal against the fine of six weeks’ wages — thought to be around £1.2m — to the club board but lodged another with the Premier League, which has also been withdrawn.
City lead reigning champions and local rivals Manchester United by two points at the top of the Premier League, and if Tevez fires them to the title, all will almost certainly be forgiven.