Tevez returns but no Mancini apology
Carlos Tevez arrived at the Manchester City's Carrington training ground on Valentine's evening just as his manager Roberto Mancini had left for the day, leaving the pair's dispute unresolved.
Tevez arrives back at Man City
ESPNsoccernet has been told Tevez arrived at City's training complex around 15.55pm, shortly after Mancini had left for the day, and spent an hour with the club doctor.
The doctor assessed Tevez's fitness, but there is no indication, as yet, that this is a prelude to the striker playing again. Nor has there been any suggestion that Mancini deliberately snubbed Tevez's long awaited return.
"The manager would not have been expected to be at the training ground that late," a source told ESPNsoccernet.
There was no face-to-face meeting, although it is unclear if the pair have spoken on the phone, or through third parties, since Tevez landed back in the UK.
During their initial dispute back in October, Mancini unexpectedly invited Tevez to his home when it seemed the pair would never speak again. There, the manager is believed to have demanded an apology only for Tevez to refuse point blank.
An apology seems to be the deal-breaker and as yet there is no official sign of it - yet the pair are getting closer to sorting out their differences.
The plan is that Tevez and Mancini will meet up on Wednesday morning, before the manager leaves with the team for City's Europa League match with FC Porto.
There is an appeal lodged with the Premier League against Tevez's initial punishment, despite suggestions that the player's camp will drop it, and ESPNsoccernet can reveal that City are not softening on their side on that front. Tevez has lost over £9 million in wages and bonuses through his self-imposed exile.
City have been requesting Tevez's return in writing since he went AWOL and there has been no sudden about turn by the football club. Indeed, the club are not pushing to have him back to help their league campaign.
He is back in Manchester because after he and his advisors had agreed a deal with AC Milan, they assumed City would drop their price or loan him out at the death of January's transfer window. The collapse of that deal left Tevez without football, and without wages either.
"We were not prepared to do that," said a highly-placed City source. "Tevez has nowhere to go and that is why he is back."
The club's Abu Dhabi owners have made it clear that if City didn't get fair market value for him, then he would be required to honour his contract. That runs out in the summer of 2014, so Tevez's waiting game could conceivably last until then.