Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini has admitted Carlos Tevez could feature in the Premier League again - if he proves his fitness.
Despite a widespread belief that the 27-year-old would have left City during the transfer window, Tevez remains with the Blues after interest from AC Milan, Inter Milan and Paris St Germain failed to turn into permanent move. Tevez remains in Argentina and, as yet, there has been no indication when the striker may return.
However, Mancini, who previously stated it was unthinkable for Tevez to play for the club again, has named him in his 25-man squad for the remainder of the season and, however unlikely, he could play a part in the title run-in.
"Carlos is not an option at the moment but it is possible in the future if he comes back," said Mancini. "I hope for him he has been training in the last three months to help his condition. There is only one thing on my mind, the Premier League. But if he comes back - and he is fit - it is possible."
Meanwhile, Mancini has confirmed Owen Hargreaves remains available but has struggled to gain any consistent form during his time at City, triggering the deadline-day loan deal that saw David Pizarro move from Roma.
"Owen always has these little problems," said Mancini. "When he came to us in the summer we took a gamble because he had not played for two years. We thought we could try and get him fit in two or three months and then he would be able to play.
"But, like any player who hasn't played for two years, when they start to train, every day there is a problem, with his knee or his hamstring. I hope for him he eventually is able to play all the time. He deserves to."
Unlike Hargreaves, Pizarro is ready to play. "I feel ready," said the former Chile international. "I know the league in England is going to be different to Italy but I have a lot of experience at the highest level and whilst I know I need to adapt very quickly, I am confident I can."
The 32-year-old is certainly hoping for a better experience than his last trip to Manchester, when he was part of the Roma side hammered 7-1 by United in a UEFA Champions League quarter-final in 2007.
"That was a massacre," he sighed. "All I saw of Cristiano Ronaldo was the back of his shirt."