Manchester City's Carlos Tevez may sue Roberto Mancini

By Richard Conway and David OrnsteinBBC Sport
Carlos Tevez
Tevez has not played for City since they beat Birmingham on 21 September

Carlos Tevez may sue Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini for defamation of character, according to sources in the Argentine striker's camp.

On Tuesday, City fined Tevez four weeks wages - about £1m - for what they say were five separate breaches of contract in a game against Bayern Munich in September.

The breaches of contract cited by City include "an obligation to participate in any matches in which the player is selected to play for the club when directed by a club official".

Tevez has been advised that Mancini's post-match comments, where he said Tevez refused to play, could amount to defamation.

A City spokesman told BBC Sport they will not be commenting on the development but added that owner Sheikh Mansour and chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak are supporting Mancini unequivocally.

Tevez, who has 14 days to appeal to the club board against the charge, continues to assert that at no time during the Champions League match in Germany in September was he told he was to be brought on to play and he is understood to be considering his legal options.

He and his advisors believe that none of the five reasons given by City for upholding the charge of misconduct, which the club published on their website on Wednesdayexternal-link, are correct.

"There is nothing to stop this case being made," defamation lawyer Colin Gibson told the BBC News Channel.

"Tevez says that he would have played and he says that Mancini told the television cameras and told the country that he refused to play.

"It could damage Tevez's reputation - all he does is play football - so it is a real case. But I think it is incredibly unlikely that it will come to court."

City have decided not to extend the two-week suspension already served by Tevez.

The player, who has not played since the Carling Cup match against Birmingham on 21 September, is therefore theoretically available for selection for City's Carling Cup fourth-round tie at Wolves on Wednesday.

But a departure from Eastlands in January seems inevitable, with Tevez having trained alone since returning to the club after suspension.

Mancini is also unlikely to wish to unsettle a squad that is now five points clear at the top of the Premier League after thrashing city rivals Manchester United 6-1 on Sunday.

Tevez was signed by then City manager Mark Hughes in the summer of 2009 and has since scored 53 goals in 91 appearances.

In May, he captained the club to FA Cup triumph, with a 1-0 victory over Stoke in the final at Wembley, City's first major trophy in 35 years.

However, he has also twice asked for a transfer away from Eastlands and looked set to get his wish before a proposed £40m move to Brazilian side Corinthians fell through.

He has made five appearances for City this season, but only two starts, and is yet to score.