Roberto Mancini has claimed he “doesn’t know” whether Carlos Tevez will play for Manchester City again.
Journalists attending Mancini’s pre-planned briefing ahead of Saturday’s Premier League encounter with Aston Villa at the Etihad Stadium were informed the subject of Tevez’s present disciplinary case was off limits.
However, the Blues boss was still asked whether Tevez had a future with the club.
“I don’t know,” said Mancini.
Earlier, a City official had outlined the club’s position and warned the press conference would be terminated if questions about Tevez were asked.
“We have been unable to allow questions about Carlos Tevez today, either to Carlos in general, his alleged conduct on the night in question, or the ramifications of that conduct,” said the official.
“Questions also in relation to his future at the club are strictly off limits today and won’t be answered. Breaches of this will result in the press conference being cancelled.”
Amid that, Mancini was denied the opportunity to state whether Tevez would be available for selection before his case is over, which could be December if the appeals processes are explored fully.
However, the City chief did give an indication Tevez was not in his plans when he addressed how many strikers he had available for the Villa game.
“We have three strikers at this moment,” said Mancini, who has vowed not to take any risks with Sergio Aguero, who has been suffering from an adductor muscle injury.
Mancini assured City supporters not to be worried about their club, and insisted he is feeling no pressure, having been made immune to such issues during his four years at Inter Milan.
“If you speak with Rafael Benitez, with Marcello Lippi, with Leonardo, Inter Milan is a strong team for any manager,” he said.
“If you stay there for four years, you are strong enough to be at every club.
“I don’t have any problems. I have had experiences in my life. Why should I have any pressure?”
Indeed, Mancini rates himself as an improved operator now to what he was when he first arrived at City almost two years ago.
“I am a better manager now,” he said.
“When you go to another country, you can work with different players in different situations, in a different culture.
“Every manager can improve. I am sure that I have improved in England.”