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Roberto Mancini is unsure whether Carlos Tevez will be at Manchester City next season despite the controversial striker's recent fine form.
Tevez went AWOL for three months after a spat with Mancini but the pair have now made up and Tevez has returned to the City side with a bang, starring in the club's 6-1 hammering of Norwich on Saturday.
The 28-year-old scored three goals and set Sergio Aguero up for another as City turned the heat on title rivals Manchester United with a ruthless display at Carrow Road.
The Argentine smacked home a 20-yard swirling shot in the first half before adding a header and a cool finish after seizing on a mix-up in the Norwich defence.
The former West Ham striker offered Mancini an olive branch today when he thanked the City boss, and his team-mates, for welcoming him back after an apology, but the Italian is not 100% sure whether Tevez will stay at the Etihad Stadium beyond the summer.
"I don't know. I don't know this," Mancini said when asked whether Tevez would be a City player next year.
"It depends. Now I think it is important that we think about the next four games. After that, at the end of the season, we will see what can happen with all the players."
Tevez was mobbed by his team-mates after each of his three goals yesterday in a clear show of unity from the City squad.
The fans were equally behind their former captain, singing his name throughout the vital win.
Mancini insists that he and his players now have no issue with Tevez playing for the club despite his antics in Munich last September, where he reportedly refused to come off the bench.
"There is no problem," Mancini said.
"It is in the past."
Mancini still insists his team are out of the title race despite only trailing United by five points, but Tevez disagrees.
"Of course we can still win the title," Tevez told City TV.
"Obviously we have to put pressure on United. We just need to continue to play the way we are and we will arrive and the top. Mathematically it's not impossible."
Tevez was grateful to Mancini for giving him a way back in to the City team.
"Today (Saturday) was important for the people, for the club and for the fans, for my colleagues, for Roberto," he added.
"We all went through some difficult times... I am happy for everyone."
City are now playing the kind of football which they displayed during the first two thirds of the season and have scored 10 goals in their last two games.
Despite their form City midfielder Nigel de Jong, like his manager, thinks United are still far superior.
He said: "I don't think this result gives any effect. I can't see them being scared about us now at this stage of the season because they have been already on top of us from the beginning of the season so it will not scare them."
Despite yesterday's hammering, Norwich can still hold their heads high after a remarkable season under highly-rated manager Paul Lambert.
They kept pace with the Blues for two thirds of the game and looked set to equalise after Andrew Surman put them back in the game at 1-2 just after the break.
The Canaries have a tough run-in, but Surman is determined to end the season on a high.
"We won't take our foot off the pedal," the midfielder said.
"I don't think the gaffer allows that really.
"Everyone wants to finish with a good flurry at the end and see how many points we can get. We've got some big games coming up, with Blackburn, Liverpool, Arsenal and Villa.
"They are all top sides in the Premier League so they're going to be tough.
"And we know if we take our foot off the gas you can end up being on the end of a hiding again.
"So we need to push through and get as many points as we can and end the season on a high."