It is difficult to see quite where Tevez will go from here. Clearly craving a transfer, there are few clubs with the resources or the inclination to take on the notoriously feisty Argentine. Barcelona and Real Madrid undoubtedly have the financial ammunition, but would his arrival at either destination ostensibly improve La Blaugrana or Los Galacticos? During his stint at Manchester United, we all glimpsed just how prickly a character Tevez can be when not guaranteed first-team football. Indeed, frustrations have been made publicly apparent when he has been substituted by Mancini this season, most recently during the final moments of the Bolton victory. How soon before egotistical frustrations become aired when regular football is deprived of him by Cristiano Ronaldo and Gonzalo Higuain, or David Villa, Lionel Messi and Pedro Rodriguez?
Internazionale and Chelsea also have the potential to tempt Manchester City. The question is whether City would seriously consider letting their prized asset go to a direct rival, irrespective of the complete breakdown in relations between player and club officials. Internazionale, whilst a viable financial option, would prove a significant upheaval for a man who is already missing his family back in Buenos Aires.
For the immediate future, it seems Tevez will, against his wishes, remain a Manchester City player. His captaincy of the club, considered a decision made by Mancini to placate the player in light of their fractious working relationship, is under significant doubt. So too is his participation in the team. Whilst it would be foolish to consider the selection for Thursday’s elegiac trip to Juventus in the Europa League (City have already qualified for the knock-out stage) as a sign of his future in the first-team, Premier League matches are on the horizon. City are entering one of the busiest periods of the Premier League season in touching distance of leaders Manchester United. Will the benefits of Tevez’s timely knack for scoring goals be offset by the ructions his transfer request are surely going to cause within the squad? Whatever the outcome, Tevez’s request has further destabilised a club which has rarely been out of the back pages – for right or wrong – this season.
Nevertheless, fans have been encouraged by the victory over West Ham. For the first time this season, Manchester City proved that Carlos Tevez was not indispensable. For all his petulance which required his substitution, Mario Balotelli’s performance showcased the raw physicality of the man. A little maturity may be required, but here is a man certainly capable of leading the City line. With Yaya Toure’s thrusts from midfield and David Silva’s probing, City looked every bit as fluid an outfit as they do with Tevez.
Perhaps the solution will be a transfer back to Boca Juniors. Tevez has already been granted time off this season to visit his family there and has denounced the materialism of his fellow professionals, whilst making enemies with the City board. Money may not be the issue consensus perceives it to be. If he is continually rested in favour of the line-up which beat West Ham, an option may be a deal which sees him link up with Boca Juniors on loan; similar to the deal which took Robinho to Santos last season. Whatever the outcome, the coming weeks promise to be the most revealing of City’s season and Tevez’s future this season.