Still upset with Mancini, Tevez plans City return
Updated: February 13, 2012, 16:09
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BUENOS AIRES, Argentina(AP) Carlos Tevez says he was ordered around "like a dog'' by Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini, but the Argentine striker is now ready to return and play for the club again.
"I hope I can help City be champions,'' Tevez said in an interview with Fox Sports in Argentina on Monday before his planned return to England.
Tevez has spent nearly three months on unauthorized leave in his native Argentina, continuing a long-running feud with the Premier League leaders that intensified in September when he refused to warm up in a Champions League match at Bayern Munich.
Tevez said Mancini and the club failed to tell the truth about what happened.
He said he was willing to play against Bayern, but was upset at Mancini's tone of voice when he asked him to warm up in the second half. According to Tevez, Mancini was at the time embroiled in an argument with Bosnian striker Edin Dzeko.
"He (Mancini) ordered me like a dog to warm up,'' Tevez said. "The club never told the truth publicly about what really happened and that's why I was angry.''
His anger prompted him "to grab my things and come (to Argentina) without telling the club. I was upset by the situation and needed to be with my family.''
But after failing to clinch a move away from City in the January transfer window, Tevez wants to settle his differences with the club.
"I've decided to return for personal reasons and turn around the situation and win over the fans,'' he said. "They turned on me after what happened with Bayern because they were poorly informed.''
Having initially said it would be "impossible'' to welcome Tevez back, Mancini's stance has since relaxed, saying after Sunday's 1-0 win at Aston Villa that the striker can play a role for City provided he apologizes for his insubordination that is believed to have cost him around 10 million pounds ($15.8 million) in fines or lost earnings.
"There have been some very sensible discussions which have taken place in, probably, the last 10 days and I have to say there has been a thawing on both sides,'' said Paul McCarthy, one of Tevez's representatives, on Monday.
"Carlos wants to be back, he wants to be playing football again. Roberto Mancini has more than opened the door for him. Now it's a case of him getting his fitness back.''
However, in Monday's interview, Tevez still appeared to be upset about Mancini's role in their rift and it remains to be seen if the Italian will receive the apology he has asked for. Tevez said the City manager was wrong to air their disagreement in public.
"The problems should always be resolved in the dressing room,'' he said.
Tevez was the joint-leading scorer in the league last season, with Manchester United striker Dimitar Berbatov, with 20 goals but City has coped with his absence, scoring 64 goals in 25 games - the most in the division.
However, with Dzeko's form having dipped since the first few months of the season, having a fully fit Tevez as an option for upcoming Premier League and Europa League games will provide Mancini with added firepower up front.
Tevez knows he faces a tough task to win over the fans.
"It will be a challenge for me,'' he said. "People, when they see me wearing the shirt, will react. It will be tough.''
Returning to fitness and featuring for City would put Tevez back in the shop window ahead of a possible move in the summer, with big-spending French team Paris Saint-Germain remaining a potential destination.
Tevez has appeared in three Premier League games this season and last appeared for the club in a League Cup win over Birmingham on Sep. 21.
He captained City last season, when the team ended its 35-year trophy drought by beating Stoke 1-0 to win the FA Cup at Wembley.
Associated Press writer Debora Rey in Buenos Aires contributed to this report.