Tevez would be 30 then and, with City facing a sizeable loss on the troubled Mario Balotelli, who cost £24m but could leave for less than that as they look to sell him, the club want to protect their investment in the Argentinian.
While Tevez, who signed a five-year contract at City in the summer of 2009, has not decided on his future, there have been indications that he may allow the current deal to run down and that a return home will be considered. Boca Juniors, the club where Tevez began his career, are a favoured option.
Roberto Mancini said of Tevez's contractual position: "I don't know what Carlos thinks about this. We have another 18 months and I think we have the time to talk with him about this. When Carlos takes his decision, he will talk with us.
"I remember when Carlos said: 'I finish my contract and when I finish I [go] back to Argentina.' I don't know what he thinks now. But we have the time for this."
City could offer a one-year extension in the hope of extracting a reasonable transfer fee should Tevez leave. "Yeah, yeah," Mancini said. "This could be because Carlos is 28 and he has other years to play. I think that this could be an option."
After a strong start to the season Tevez's form has been uneven and the forward has only nine goals in 27 appearances. Yet despite his not always being a starter, Mancini said there is no issue with his attitude. "His behaviour is very good, he works very well," the manager said. "He is an important player because he has experience in this moment and he can help Mario which is important."
Although City's recent policy has been that they must sell before they can buy, Mancini has only three recognised central defenders as Kolo Touré is with Ivory Coast at the Africa Cup of Nations, so he may be able to strengthen in the current window. "I think if we need players we should buy because the problem is we can't sell players because in this moment we don't have enough," Mancini said. "We will see if we need someone to put in in the next 15 days."
City travel to Arsenal for Sunday's 4pm kick-off knowing they would start 10 points behind Manchester United, if Sir Alex Ferguson's team beat Liverpool at Old Trafford earlier in the afternoon.
"This could be," Mancini said, before pointing to how City overcame a deficit to win last season's title. "They play at home against Liverpool, we play against Arsenal away. Everything is possible but it doesn't change the situation. Last year United recovered when we were five points up and after Arsenal [when City lost 1-0 in the corresponding fixture on 8 April] we went eight points behind. So we recover 10, it is not a problem.
"Until now United play very, very well. They deserve to stay on the top, maybe not to be seven points more than us but this is football. There are some moments during a season that even a top team like United can lose points. It is impossible to win every game – like last year.
"We should be ready when United lose a point. For this reason it is important for us to go our way and to continue to win. We don't look at the table; in this moment the table is not important. We know we are in second position."
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