Mancini opens door for castaway Tevez to assist title charge
MANCHESTER CITY manager Roberto Mancini appears ready to welcome Carlos Tevez back into the fold and aid his side's Premier League title challenge.
Tevez has not played for City since becoming embroiled in a dispute with the club in September following his failure to warm up during a Champions League encounter away to Bayern Munich.
The Argentinian, who has been in his homeland without the club's permission since November, had appeared set to leave City during the January transfer window but, despite interest from Inter Milan, AC Milan and Paris St Germain, no move was forthcoming.
Now it appears Mancini -- having once stated that Tevez would not play for the club again -- is ready to give the 28-year-old a way back in.
Mancini (pictured right), who has seen his options up front limited by Mario Balotelli's four-match suspension, said: "Everyone knows that Tevez is a top player and it probably would have been better for us if he'd been here.
"Carlos can change a lot of games. If he comes back next week, maybe he can help us in the last three months.
"I don't know if he is in good condition or not. I don't think so because he hasn't played for four months. But Carlos recovers strength very quickly.
"Carlos knows the situation. If he comes back, we talk. Why not? I don't have a problem."
Mancini has set his players a target of winning at least 11 of their last 13 matches if they want to win the Premier League.
City returned to the top of the table with yesterday's 1-0 win at Aston Villa after being deposed for 24 hours by neighbours United.
After winning one of their previous six away games, it was a vital triumph for Mancini that came courtesy of Joleon Lescott's third goal of the season in the 63rd minute.
After a particularly troubled January, Mancini is naturally hoping the worst is behind his team, particularly as City will be back to full strength for their next league game at home to Blackburn in 12 days' time.
With Kolo and Yaya Toure back from African Nations Cup duty and Balotelli at the end of his ban, Mancini said: "Next week we will have all the players, which is very important for us.
"But to stay on top with United and Tottenham shows we are very strong.
"We've 13 games from now until the end (of the season), and we know if we want to win the league we have to win 11 or 12, if possible."