Football: Tevez told to return by Dec 26 as China saga drags on

Carlos Tevez (front) has struggled in his time with Shanghai Shenhua so far, and the 33-year-old has become a symbol of Chinese clubs' largesse that the Beijing government hopes will never be repeated. PHOTO: AFP

SHANGHAI (AFP) - Carlos Tevez has three weeks to resolve his future at Shanghai Shenhua with the handsomely paid Argentinian forward expected back with the rest of the squad by Dec 26.

The 33-year-old, who earns some of the highest wages in world football on a reported €730,000 (S$1.17 million) a week, has flopped in China and was a notable absentee when Shanghai Shenhua won the FA Cup late last month.

Tevez was not in the Shenhua squad for either leg of the Cup final and flew back to Argentina just as his side beat Shanghai SIPG, in what was Andre Villas-Boas's last act as SIPG coach.

According to Chinese journal Soccer News, Shenhua have said it was up to the former Manchester City, Manchester United and Juventus star to decide whether he wanted to stay at the Chinse Super League (CSL) team, amid claims that he is attempting to engineer a return to Boca Juniors.

Tevez, who has scored four CSL goals since joining from Boca in January, has a year left on his Shenhua contract, according to transfer tracker

Shenhua's players, including Tevez, are expected to return for pre-season training on Dec 26, though it remains to be seen if he will make the deadline.

Tevez has been widely ridiculed by Chinese fans, missing half the games in the season just finished and nicknamed "Very Homesick Boy" because of his habit throughout his career for jetting back to Argentina in times of trouble.

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