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Mancini closes door on return of Tevez

By Agencies

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini says it would be ``impossible'' to welcome striker Carlos Tevez back if he fails to secure a move in the January transfer window.

Mancini says Tevez has been in negotiations with Inter Milan and Paris Saint-Germain and hopes the Argentina striker can complete his move ``very quickly.''

When asked if there was a way back for Tevez if those talks collapse, Mancini says ``this is impossible. Carlos doesn't want to stay.''

The 27-year-old Tevez hasn't played for City since he refused to warm up during a Champions League game against Bayern Munich last September.

Mancini says ``it's now three months he hasn't played and this isn't good for him.''

Mancini said Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli has recovered from an ankle injury and will be fit for Sunday's Premier League game at home to Tottenham Hotspur.

The Italian, who missed Monday's 1-0 win at Wigan Athletic that restored City's three-point lead at the top of the table, is in the frame for the tricky game against third-placed Spurs and defender Micah Richards is back too.

"Mario is OK, he did (training) yesterday," Mancini told a news conference.

City hammered Spurs 5-1 at White Hart Lane in August but since then Harry Redknapp's men have lost only once in the league and turned into title contenders, winning many admirers with their attractive brand of soccer.

Mancini said the August thumping would have no bearing on Sunday's match because meeting as title rivals was different to playing each other at the start of a season when results can be strange.

"It's better to lose one time 5-1 than five times 1-0," he said.

"We played five months ago, it was totally different. When you start the season anything can happen because all the squad are not ready to play 100 percent. Every team needs four, five, six games to be confident."

Mancini added Spurs could win the title but that defeat by his team would "maybe" end the London club's challenge.


English Premier League fixtures (times GMT).

Playing on Saturday

Norwich City v Chelsea (1245)

Everton v Blackburn Rovers (1500)

Fulham v Newcastle United (1500)

Queens Park Rangers v Wigan Athletic (1500)

Stoke City v West Bromwich Albion (1500)

Sunderland v Swansea City (1500)

Wolverhampton Wanderers v Aston Villa (1500)

Bolton Wanderers v Liverpool (1730)

Playing on Sunday

Manchester City v Tottenham Hotspur (1330)

Arsenal v Manchester United (1600)