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Wednesday 22 November 2017

Tevez claims stun Mancini

City boss left bemused by agent's accusations over relationship with Argentine

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini has no idea why the blame for all Carlos Tevez's problems has suddenly been laid at his door.

With Tevez likely to remain at City beyond tonight's transfer deadline, a repair job could be required to patch up the South American's differences with Mancini.

Yet, until Friday, when Tevez's long-time adviser Kia Joorabchian outlined the fact his client had always felt uneasy about Mancini, the City boss did not think there were any problems beyond their obvious fall-out in Munich last September.

"I don't know why they are suggesting this," said Mancini, of the image that is being portrayed about his relationship with Tevez.

"I have always had a good relationship with him. After Munich, I called him to my house and told him if he apologised he could come back. For me, it is no problem.

"I had always good behaviour from him. I don't know what the problem is. He has always said that he wants to leave Manchester, that he wants to be close to his family. I have helped him with this.

"It is very strange."

The fact Joorabchian did make his comments means that it is fairly easy to come up with a name to fill the criticisms of some agents that Mancini, without naming anyone, outlined ahead of the Blues' Premier League encounter with Everton this evening.

"Sometimes it is difficult to understand why some players have certain agents," said Mancini.

"If I was a player I would never take an agent like some who work here.

"First the agent should find the player work, after that they should help players in difficult situations; not put them against the club.

"Agents are important for doing this, not only for earning lots of money."

With Mario Balotelli serving the second match of a four-game ban and both Yaya and Kolo Toure on African Nations Cup duty with the Ivory Coast, who take on co-hosts Equatorial Guinea in the quarter-finals next Saturday, tonight's trip to Goodison Park could turn into a testing encounter.

City have triumphed on just one of their last 13 visits and Mancini has previously noted how David Moyes tends to get a bit more out of his Toffeemen when his side are the opposition.



Hammer

However, Mancini finds it hard to believe the £22m departure of Joleon Lescott in 2009 is the cause.

"Manchester City paid a lot of money for Lescott," he said.

"We didn't take him for free. I don't think this would be a reason."

Mancini, meanwhile, welcomes back Vincent Kompany at Everton tonight, claiming the Belgian international is one of the best defenders in Europe. Kompany has served a four-game suspension for his controversial sending-off in the FA Cup defeat to Manchester United, his absence compounded by the fact that first-choice stand-in Kolo Toure has been on international duty with the Ivory Coast.

His return effectively ends the Stefan Savic era with the 21-year-old looking less than an ideal replacement after struggling to cope with the Premier League following his £6m summer move from Partizan Belgrade. Savic conceded a penalty which cost City defeat in the Carling Cup semi-final first leg against Liverpool and was substituted at half-time in the return game after an uncomfortable first half.

Worst of all, his poor header gifted Tottenham a goal as Harry Redknapp's team drew level at City after going down 2-0, a game which, fortunately for Mancini, his side eventually won with a late penalty.

"It's important that we have Vinny available because Vinny, for us, is an important player, an important defender," said Mancini. "He's improved a lot in the last two or three years. He's a leader for us, he's our captain. He's very important in this moment because we have two hard months coming up. I think he's one of the best defenders in Europe. And he can improve a lot because he's a young player. But already he is one of the best in Europe."

Mancini said of Savic: "Stefan is young. He played well until one or two games before Tottenham, then he made a couple of mistakes. He is young and needs to improve."

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