The long-running saga of exactly what Carlos Tevez did or did not do on the Manchester City bench during the side’s Champions League tie with Bayern Munich took three further twists this week with the outcome of the club’s internal investigation, rumours Tevez was considering legal action against manager Roberto Mancini for defamation of character, and the news Tevez’s former club Corinthians are interested in re-signing the forward for a cut-price £16m.
A player the calibre of Tevez – and with the track record of goals if not uncomplicatedness – would command far more than £16m on the open market. If City do value Tevez at such a low fee it may be low enough to tempt a number of other potential suitors into the market, although City’s financial situation is such that they are able to pick and choose which clubs they deal with like no other. Selling Tevez to Corinthians, however, where he will not come into direct competition with City even in the Champions League as he would with a continental club, remains the best opportunity for the player, the club and the manager to make a clean break from this undignified mess.
At every step of this long-winded story it has been difficult to imagine Tevez wearing City colours with Mancini in the dugout, but if Tevez does take legal action against the Italian then there will be few things in the world less likely to happen than the Argentinean trotting out in the Sky Blue. It would be an unprecedented step and one that would only prolong this agonising tale. Tevez is theoretically available to play for City after the club deemed his suspension to be served, but seeing Tevez in action in the near future would surely be a twist too far in this unparalleled sequence of events.
The distinction between refusing to warm up and refusing to play – which any legal case from Tevez would appear to rest on – is small but still large enough to be contentious, although any issue involving Tevez, Mancini and Manchester City would likely fall into that category at this moment in time. But Tevez’s suspension and fine of four weeks wages was never likely to be the end of the matter, and as talk now turns to issues of legality it appears the final judgment is some way in the distance, and perhaps not even a move to Brazil would bring down the final curtain.