Carlos Tevez saga

No sign of AWOL Tevez returning

November 15, 2011
By Harry Harris, Football Correspondent

Carlos Tevez has refused to give any indication about when, or indeed, if he plans to return to Manchester City - effectively now going on strike.

Carlos Tevez
GettyImagesCarlos Tevez: Still in Argentina.

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Newspaper reports on Tuesday suggested that Tevez had obtained a medical certificate explaining his absence without leave as "depression", but that has been categorically denied by ESPNsoccernet sources close to the player.

The alleged assertion that Tevez was "not in a fit state" to leave Argentina to return to City looks increasingly like a desperate attempt to excuse the inexcusable. Clearly, City have not fallen for it and continue to plough ahead with talks with the player's representatives to end the stand-off.

Tevez remains AWOL, with ESPNsoccernet sources confirming that even his closest advisors cannot give a date when he will return. It might be that he does not return, which would leave City having to take legal action.

City are sure that Tevez and his legal team cannot evoke Article 15 citing "sporting just cause" to engineer a free transfer from Eastlands, given his extraordinary disciplinary record, and his failure to attend a number of training sessions as well as returning home for a week without permission.

That would be City's defence as to why Tevez could not possibly play 10% of the games stipulated in Article 15. Manager Roberto Mancini has made it clear his £40 million striker can play again for City provided he apologises for refusing to warm up and therefore refusing to play in the Champions League tie against Bayern Munich.

Although meaningful talks are ongoing between both sides, Tevez's prolonged absence is only aggravating the situation and heightening the tensions between the two warring camps. Tevez and his advisors believe there will be no need for yet another disciplinary hearing and further fines and suspensions, but City might opt to go ahead with disciplinary proceedings in the players absence as he is clearly not going to reappear as instructed to by his club.