Shenhua tells 'overweight' Tevez to shape up

AFP
Tevez was jeered when he came on as a substitute last weekend in a 1-2 home defeat, and Wu Jingui, who took over after Gus Poyet quit as coach, is taking a hardline stance.
AFP
Imaginechina

Carlos Tevez of Shanghai Greenland Shenhua in action against Changchun Yatai during their 20th-round Chinese Super League matc in Shanghai, in this August 5, 2017, photo. Shenhua's new coach Wu Jingui has told the Argentina striker that he is overweight and will not play again for the club until he gets fit.

Carlos Tevez is overweight and will not play again for Shanghai Shenhua until he gets fit, the Chinese club's new coach has warned.

The 33-year-old Tevez is one of the best-paid players on the planet on reported weekly wages of about 730,000 euros (US$874,460) but has scored just twice this season and already has missed half his games due to injury.

The former Manchester United, Manchester City and Juventus star has hinted that he would quit China at the end of the season and has been branded "very homesick boy" by angry Shenhua fans and Chinese media.

Tevez recently returned to the country from a two-break in Argentina to seek treatment for a leg-muscle injury.

He was jeered when he came on as a substitute last weekend in a 2-1 Chinese Super League home defeat, and Wu Jingui, who took over after Gus Poyet quit as coach on Monday, is taking a hardline stance.

"I had a talk with him today about tactics, but I won’t let him play for now, he isn't physically ready," Wu said in an interview with the Shanghai Morning Post published on Wednesday.

"Both him and (Colombian Fredy) Guarin are overweight. I need to be responsible to the team and responsible to the players.

"When you are on the pitch, if you can’t play at 100 percent, then it is completely meaningless."

It is the latest sorry chapter in Tevez's turbulent nine months in China.

He angered fans of struggling Shenhua earlier this year when he missed an important match due to injury but was instead spotted at Shanghai Disneyland.

Shenhua is currently 12th in the 16-team CSL standings on 24 points after 23 rounds, and is just eight points above the relegation zone. Its next match is the season’s second league derby against Shanghai SIPG at Shanghai Stadium on Saturday.

Despite its league struggles, Shenhua has reached the semifinals of this year’s CFA Cup, holding a 1-0 advantage after the first leg of the last four against second-tier Shanghai Shenxin. If it advances to the final, Shenhua will take on either city rival SIPG or CSL leader Guangzhou Evergrande in the fight for the championship.

Wu, 56, has returned at the helm of Shenhua for the fourth time. His earlier stint as club manager was in 2002, when he replaced veteran coach Xu Genbao. In 2003, Wu guided Shenhua to its first league title in eight years when it won the Chinese Jia-A League.

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