England (AP) — Carlos Tevez is expected to return to Manchester City on Tuesday eager to make peace with manager Roberto Mancini and help the club in its bid to capture a first English league title in more than 40 years.
The 28-year-old striker has spent nearly three months on unauthorized leave in his native Argentina, continuing a long-running feud with the Premier League leaders that intensified in September when he refused to warm up in a Champions League match at Bayern Munich.
After failing to clinch a move away from City in the January transfer window, Tevez appears ready to settle his differences with the club in an attempt to make a return to the team for the league run-in.
“There have been some very sensible discussions which have taken place in, probably, the last 10 days and I have to say there has been a thawing on both sides,” said Paul McCarthy, one of Tevez’s representatives.
“Carlos wants to be back, he wants to be playing football again. Roberto Mancini has more than opened the door for him. Now it’s a case of him getting his fitness back.”
Having initially said it would be “impossible” to welcome Tevez back, Mancini’s stance has relaxed, saying after Sunday’s 1-0 win at Aston Villa that the striker can play a role for City provided he apologizes for his insubordination that is believed to have cost him around 10 million pounds ($15.8 million) in fines or lost earnings.
Tevez was the joint-leading scorer in the league last season, with Manchester United striker Dimitar Berbatov, with 20 goals but City has coped with his absence, scoring 64 goals in 25 games — the most in the division.
However, with Bosnia striker Edin Dzeko’s form having dipped since the first few months of the season, having a fully fit Tevez as an option for upcoming Premier League and Europa League games will provide Mancini with added firepower up front.
“In the couple of seasons before this year, which has obviously been fairly awful in terms of everything that has gone on post-Munich, (Tevez) was the leading goalscorer for Manchester City,” McCarthy said. “He needs to be back, he needs to be pulling on a Manchester City shirt again, he needs to be doing what he does, and that’s score goals and help his team. And he wants to help Manchester City to win the title.”
Returning to fitness and featuring for City would put Tevez back in the shop window ahead of a possible move in the summer, with big-spending French team Paris Saint-Germain remaining a potential destination.
Tevez, who is scheduled to leave Buenos Aires on Monday, has appeared in three Premier League games this season and last appeared for the club in a League Cup win over Birmingham on Sep. 21.
He captained City last season, when the team ended its 35-year trophy drought by beating Stoke 1-0 to win the FA Cup at Wembley.