Champions League - Tevez denies refusing to play for City
Argentine forward Carlos Tevez "is finished" as a Manchester City player after he refused to come on as a substitute during the 2-0 defeat by Bayern Munich in the Champions League, manager Roberto Mancini has said.
The 27-year-old, who joined City from rivals Manchester United two years ago, seemed to ignore Mancini's instruction to warm up early in the second half.
The matter will now have to be referred to City's owner, Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan of Abu Dhabi, but his largely unprecedented behaviour left Mancini fuming and vowing never to pick him again.
Mancini, looking visibly shocked, said: "I am really disappointed because it is Carlos.
"This can't happen in a top club - to refuse to go in to help his team-mates. What I said to Carlos is between me, him and the team.
"But if we want to improve as a team Carlos can't play with us. With me, he is finished."
There was some confusion at the time as to why Mancini brought on defensive midfielder Nigel de Jong instead of Tevez after 56 minutes with City trailing 2-0.
Mancini explained that he told the Argentine to get warmed up to come on with around 35 minutes to play, telling him that he believed he could help change their losing 2-0 position.
TV pictures showed Tevez shrugging and shaking his head when one of City's coaching staff spoke to him on the bench.
"He refused to warm up and again refused to go on the pitch," the Italian said. "If a player has a lot of money to play for Manchester City... he can't play [for them again], never."
Mancini also said that he would speak with Manchester City chairman Khaldoon al-Mubarak in the next few days to decide what to do.
"In the next days, we will speak with Khaldoon," he said. "It is normal. He is the chairman. He decides everything. If I decided, yes [he would leave]. He wanted to leave last year. I helped him for two years every time. He refused to play.
"I cannot accept this behaviour from him. I decide the substitutions, not Carlos."
However on Wednesday morning the Argentine released a statement claiming he did not refuse to play - and saying he is ready to fulfil his obligations to the club.
"I would like to apologise to all Manchester City fans, with whom I have always had a strong relationship, for any misunderstanding that occurred in Munich," the statement read.
"They understand that when I am on the pitch I have always given my best for the club. In Munich on Tuesday I had warmed up and was ready to play. This is not the right time to get into specific details as to why this did not happen. But I wish to state that I never refused to play.
"There was some confusion on the bench and I believe my position may have been misunderstood. Going forward I am ready to play when required and to fulfil my obligations."
Tevez has had an uneasy truce with City since angling for a move away from the club over the last year, citing family reasons.
He has only played one full match this season, in last week's win over Birmingham City in the League Cup.
He made a nine-minute appearance as a substitute in City's opening Champions League match two weeks ago against Napoli, and has also made two substitute appearances in the Premier League and started one game.
Tevez has never been far from controversy since moving to England and West Ham United with fellow Argentine Javier Mascherano in 2006, transfers that caused huge problems because their rights were owned by a third party, Media Sports Investments.
The issue, which dragged on for months, eventually saw West Ham being fined £5.5 million by the Premier League and after one season at the Hammers Tevez joined Manchester United in 2007.
Although he was part of the United team that won the 2008 Champions League final against Chelsea in Moscow, he fell out with the club during the following season and joined United's rivals and neighbours City at the start of the 2009-10 season.
The deal, reported to have cost City around £32m, was also worth a reported £225,000 in weekly wages to Tevez.
However, he soon let it be known he was unhappy in Manchester because he was missing his daughters in Argentina and came close to leaving the club in the close season despite May's FA Cup triumph. A proposed move back to Brazil and Corinthians broke down, though.
Tevez, asked by Sky Sports News after the match if he was finished at City, gave an inconsequential reply.
Speaking through an interpreter, he said: "I have been a professional all the time I have been here and last season I was top scorer.
"Last season it's true I wanted to leave because of family reasons, but I keep trying to do my best."
Manchester City assistant coach David Platt said: "I don't think anyone can condone a player refusing to get warmed up, no matter what has gone on on the bench, no matter what arguments there might have been. But I think we have got to look at it internally and deal with it.
"Right now it is very difficult for everybody. We need to calm down from the situation, at the same time as recognising that people want to talk about it."