at the Union Buildings in Pretoria
Manchester, United Kingdom – Roberto Mancini insists Carlos Tevez's legal problems will not have any impact on his Manchester City career.
Argentina forward Tevez was fined and sentenced to 250 hours of community service in a Macclesfield magistrates' court this week for driving while disqualified and driving without insurance.
The length of time Tevez will be required to spend performing community service could, potentially, represent a problem to the Premier League champions.
But City manager Mancini was adamant that it will not affect his status at the Etihad Stadium.
“No,” said Mancini when asked on Friday about the issue. “I didn't speak with him about that but I don't think that will be a problem.
“I think Carlo made a mistake and he has paid for this. Usually, he has good behaviour.”
Tevez's team mate Samir Nasri was also disqualified from driving this week, for six months, over an offence relating to unpaid tickets, yet Mancini is adamant the duo do not represent a problem for the club's image.
“No, I think this is their private life,” said Mancini. “We can do nothing about this. This can happen sometimes.”
Mancini was talking ahead of Monday's Manchester derby in which he takes his side to Old Trafford standing 15 points behind Alex Ferguson's United, who look destined to regain the title from their bitter rivals.
There was some good news for Mancini and City this week in the form of influential midfielder Yaya Toure signing a new four-year contract that will keep him at the club until 2017.
Mancini welcomed the Ivory Coast international's decision to remain at Eastlands and claimed it was a significant coup to keep him.
“I am happy because for me, Yaya is one of the best players in the world and we're happy he plays for us,” said Mancini.
“We're happy he's staying here another four years. It's very important for the club.”
Toure's signing followed comments made by his agent in the British press that his client was unhappy with his treatment by the club but Mancini insisted that he had no problem with the manner in which negotiations had been handled.
“We're very happy he's prepared to play for us and sign another contract,” he said.
“For me, it's very important for the club, for the players, for him.”
At 29, Toure's new deal, reported to be worth over £200,000 ($300,000) a week, may represent something of a gamble for the Premier League side, although Mancini insists this is not the case.
“I think Yaya is a player who can play until he is 36 or 37,” he added.
“He can play in front of the defence, he can play centre-back, I think he can play every position. Before, even very old people like me could play!” – Sapa-AFP