Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini says that striker Carlos Tevez has told him that he wants to stay at the club next season.
Tevez has been linked with a move away from England after he claimed he wanted to be nearer to his family. The Argentine handed in a transfer request at the end of last year, but has since opted to stay at the club, helping them to break their trophy drought with the capture of the FA Cup and hauling them to third in the Premier League.
The striker netted two sublime goals in a 3-0 win over defeated FA Cup finalists Stoke on Tuesday night and manager Mancini revealed that Tevez has told him he has no desire to leave yet.
"Carlos has told me he wants to stay," said Mancini at his post-match press conference. ''I have spoken with him many times in the last 20 days and my opinion is he will stay. He has a five-year contract and has told us he wants to stay. He said that before. He never had any problem.
''Carlos has scored 20 goals this season. Every time we say Carlos is an important player. Carlos is Carlos. He is a fantastic striker and a fantastic player for us.
''In December he had a problem. But everyone can change his opinion. I don't know what his representatives think. Carlos is an important player here. The feeling for him is good. Nowhere else can he find behaviour that all people have for him.''
Mancini is clearly anxious to avoid a summer of uncertainty, particularly surrounding his best attacking player, who moved level with Dimitar Berbatov in the race for the Golden Boot with a brace that took him onto 20 for the season.
''I think if he will stay next year he won't change,'' said Mancini. ''When we play in the Champions League, probably we will have a better squad. We can buy other good players. Why should he change? I don't think this will happen.''
City know that victory away to Bolton on Sunday will see them stay ahead of Arsenal in the table and Mancini is keen to seal an automatic Champions League berth.
The Italian said: "I think it is important we think about the next game, it is in our hands. It is fantastic because everything depends on us. We have got into the position. We have one difficult game and it is very important.
"We have had a fantastic season with fourth place. Now we have won the FA Cup and if we can recover our strength well in the next four days we will go to Bolton. We are improving a lot and in the last 40 days we have played really well. We can only improve next season.
"If we want to win and improve, I know only one way - work, work hard. We can improve if we work. It is a very special moment. We have won a trophy, we are in the top four, at the moment we are in third position and I think for the supporters it is very special."