Monday 17 December 2018

Mancini unsure of Tevez's future ahead of Aris clash

ROBERTO Mancini has admitted he cannot be sure how long Carlos Tevez might stay with Manchester City.

Reports have quoted Tevez's representative Kia Joorabchian as claiming the Argentina striker - who netted his 50th goal for City in Sunday's 5-0 FA Cup fourth-round replay victory over Notts County - would be happy to rejoin Brazilian side Corinthians, a move he was confident he could seal for his client within the next couple of years.

Tevez's current deal with City runs until the summer of 2014 and asked if he felt keeping hold of the club captain would be a problem, Mancini said: "I don't know this.

"I'm happy for Carlos because he has scored 50 goals for Manchester City and I hope he can continue to score, but in football it is impossible to know what will happen in the future. I hope Carlos can continue to play here."

Mancini claims there is no reason why City's lack of Champions League experience should count against them if they manage to qualify.

City are on course for a top-four finish in the Premier League this term which will hand them the chance to take on Europe's elite in 2011-12.

It would be the club's first appearance in the Champions League, but Mancini does not see that as a problem for his star-studded squad.

"When you play in the Champions League for the first time, maybe you can have problems, but when I played for Sampdoria 20 years ago we got to the final (of the old European Cup) the first time we qualified," he said.

Earlier this week midfielder Yaya Toure talked up City's prospects, saying he thought they could be a better team than Barcelona -- his old club -- in the not-too-distant future.

It is something Mancini is also prepared to believe in, saying: "I think we need to work more, but I hope so -- why not?"

Ahead of tonight's Europa League last-32 second leg against Aris Salonika at Eastlands, City have been hit by the news that Shay Given could be out of action for three months with a shoulder injury.

However, Mario Balotelli is fit to take on Aris -- with whom City drew 0-0 in last week's first leg in Greece -- while Shaun Wright-Phillips is also in contention after a back problem.

Micah Richards has picked up what appears to be a calf injury so will not feature and James Milner (hamstring), Nigel de Jong and Adam Johnson (both ankle) remain in the treatment room.


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