Carlos Tevez hoping to be back for Manchester City against Chelsea
• Improvement in health of daughter could lead to return
• City striker could fly back to play leaders on Saturday
Carlos Tevez has handed Roberto Mancini a boost by saying he is “hopeful” of returning from Argentina for Manchester City’s Premier League meeting with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.
The striker is in Buenos Aires after his wife gave birth prematurely to his second daughter. The child was today still in intensive care, although Mancini had been informed otherwise following City’s goalless draw with Liverpool yesterday, when his patience snapped and he said he had “ordered” Tevez to come home.
The manager believed the baby was out of danger and that Tevez’s partner, Vanesa, had been allowed to leave hospital. Although the child improved over the weekend, she was tonight still in a critical condition, and the Italian’s stance is bound to raise questions over his sensitivity. Tevez is intent on ensuring his daughter has stabilised before he returns.
Kia Joorabchian, Tevez’s representative, said: “Hopefully he’ll be back in time for the Chelsea game – he hopes to be back for the Chelsea game. When your child is in intensive care it’s a very serious matter.”
Mancini has been without the 26-year-old for the last three games, which have all been drawn and he seemed confused regarding Tevez’s precise whereabouts today. But Joorabchian denied this. He said: “I think that is maybe not quite correct, because the club have been informed on a daily basis about the status of Carlos and his baby.
“I think Carlos is definitely a person who has given 100% to this team since he arrived, there is no question about that. He hopes things will get better, for his daughter’s sake and because he wants to get back and play. He loves to play.
“When these things happen you have to deal with them. Obviously he’s having to go through a very difficult period but he’s dealt with them before and will continue to do so. The signs are very positive in terms of his daughter’s recovery and we are all hoping this is the case. He was determined to get back for the Liverpool game but unfortunately the situation didn’t get much better. However, she has got better over the weekend.”
Should Tevez return it remains moot how fit he will be to face Chelsea. However, Joorabchian insisted the player is maintaining his fitness while in Argentina: “He’s training daily with the national team of Argentina out there and spending one-and-a-half to two hours there. He is a professional. He understands that side of it.”
City are fifth, level on points with fourth-placed Tottenham, in the race to claim next season’s final Champions League qualifying place. Tevez has scored 19 goals this season and is in what he considers to be the best form of his career.