Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini expects Carlos Tevez to stay with the Premier League club even though he conceded the Argentina striker may be feeling homesick.
City striker Roque Santa Cruz sparked renewed speculation about Tevez this week when he was quoted as saying the former Manchester United star wants to be back "among his people" in Argentina and will return to his homeland in the next few years.
Mancini has given Tevez permission to travel to Argentina to visit his family after City's captain was ruled out of tomorrow's trip to Wolverhampton Wanderers with a thigh injury.
The Italian agrees that Tevez, who still speaks little English, may well be eager to spend more time in Argentina but Mancini insisted on today that he has no fears about the 26-year-old quitting early.
Referring to reports of his star striker being homesick, Mancini said: "He never talks to me about this, but I think it is normal. When you are in another country for a long time, it is normal that sometimes you need your country or your family.
"But he has his job here and it is a fantastic job. I don't think we have a problem." Asked if he was worried Tevez might not see out the whole of his contract at City, Mancini replied: "No, not at all."
It has been suggested that Tevez is growing disillusioned with football and particularly the dual demands of playing for club and country. Mancini believes it would be beneficial for the player if he was able to curb his commitments with the Argentina national side.
"It is impossible, I think, but maybe sometimes when they have a friendly match it would be better for him to stay here to recover," Mancini said. "If it is possible, it would be better for us and better for him. But when they are important games with the national team, it is difficult."
Meanwhile, Mancini believes Santa Cruz deserves better than his current predicament at City and hopes the Paraguayan international can find another club in January.
Santa Cruz has played only once this season and was recently quoted as stating his desire to leave City in the next transfer window. It has been a disappointing time for the striker at Eastlands since his arrival from Blackburn Rovers in 2009 and today Mancini gave the green light for Santa Cruz to move on.
"Roque is a fantastic man and a good player, but he knows the situation here," the City manager said. "I am very sorry for him because Roque deserves to play every game, because he works very well. But it is difficult at the moment. I hope for him that he can go to play for another team, because he deserves this."