CARLOS TEVEZ could be in prison when Manchester City face Manchester United next month with the Argentine ordered to appear before magistrates on April 3. He has been charged with driving while disqualified and without insurance.
The 29-year-old forward, who was banned from driving for six months in January, was arrested in Cheshire last Thursday after being stopped by police while allegedly driving a sports car.
Tevez answered bail at Middlewich Police Station yesterday, where he was formally charged.
The former United striker was further bailed to appear at Macclesfield Magistrates' Court next month. If found guilty, he could be imprisoned, with the charge carrying a possible six-month sentence.
A police statement said: "Cheshire Constabulary has charged a 29-year-old man from Alderley Edge with offences of driving while disqualified and driving without insurance.
"The man was arrested on the A538 in Macclesfield at 5.13pm on Thursday, March 7, and later released on police bail. He answered bail at Middlewich Custody Suite and was formally charged. He will appear at Macclesfield Magistrates' Court on April 3."
City are due to face their Manchester neighbours United at Old Trafford on April 8 in a game which is likely to prove pivotal in the outcome of this season's title race.
Eliminated from the Champions League and almost knocked out of the FA Cup, United host relegation-threatened and managerless Reading this Saturday.
United, who have won 14 of their last 16 league games, are 12 points clear of second-placed City and can take another step towards an unprecedented 20th title, while pushing Reading closer to the drop.
The visitors, who sacked manager Brian McDermott on Monday and are set to be in the hands of youth academy coach Eamonn Dolan on Saturday, have never won at Old Trafford and have only ever beaten Manchester United once – in an FA Cup match in 1927.
Reading have lost twice to United this season, 4-3 at home in the league and 2-1 away in the FA Cup. Whoever takes over from McDermott – with ex-Swindon Town boss Paolo Di Canio the favourite – has a huge task on his hands to keep them up.
McDermott, who took Reading up last season and was named manager of the month for January, was sacked after his side lost a fourth successive league game to Aston Villa last weekend.
Di Canio, who was at the match, said: "I believe I am at a stage now where I am a Premier League or Championship manager and want to go to an ambitious club with a winning mentality."
Reading will certainly need that to stay up as they are four points adrift of safety in 19th place with nine matches to play.