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Homesick Tevez pining for return to Argentina -- Santa Cruz

Carlos Tevez is troubled by feelings of homesickness and "wants to be among his people" in Argentina, according to the Manchester City captain's team-mate and close friend, Roque Santa Cruz.

Tevez, who is expected to overcome a calf injury in time to face Wolves at Molineux this weekend, has complained regularly in recent months of his growing disaffection with life as a footballer.

The former Manchester United forward has also said he is contemplating retirement from international football due to the strain of travelling to and from South America, insisting last month: "I'm here in Argentina more for the people and my family than for me."

Paraguayan forward Santa Cruz has revealed that Tevez's separation from his family is a sensitive issue for the 26-year-old.

"He wants to be among his people, who are in Argentina. His siblings and his daughters are also there," said Santa Cruz.

"Still, I think that he will see it out and fulfil his contract with City before returning home."

Tevez's relationship with City manager Roberto Mancini is fractious, with the two men clashing in the dressing-room and Tevez voicing his concerns over the Italian's training methods.

Tensions were also heightened while Tevez was on compassionate leave in Argentina in February, following the premature birth of the player's daughter Katie.

Mancini's claim that the player's absence had been a "big problem" for the club led to Tevez's representative, Kia Joorabchian, defending his client by insisting a "serious problem with his family" was the sole factor in his 12-day stay in Argentina.

Tevez has been the driving force behind City's impressive start to the season, scoring seven league goals already this campaign, and he still has three and a half years to run on his contract.

The player has often stressed his desire to return to Boca Juniors before the end of his career, but City remain confident his future at the club is secure.

Santa Cruz admits his own stay at City is likely to come to an end in January, however. The £17m buy from Blackburn has made just one appearance this season -- in the Carling Cup defeat at West Brom -- and was left out of the 25-man Europa League squad.

He said: "Unfortunately I'm not playing as I'd like. I'm working every day to try and convince the coach, but I'm not getting picked.

"The situation is very complicated. I wanted to try my best, but I'm not getting the playing time to convince anybody and my priority is to leave in the January transfer market." (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent