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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 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 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 published Wednesday with the Shanghai Morning Post.
“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.