Underperforming Carlos Tevez has returned to China following treatment in Argentina and is back training with Shanghai Shenhua, the club confirmed Thursday, allaying doubts about his immediate future.
The 33-year-old forward had returned home to Argentina for two weeks to seek treatment on a leg-muscle injury, triggering speculation that he may not come back to China, where he has failed to settle.
The former international, one of the highest-paid players in the world on reported weekly wages of about €730,000, has scored just two goals since joining Shenhua at the start of this season and has missed half of the team’s games through injury.
He flew to Argentina for treatment with the consent of the club, utilising a break in the Chinese Super League (CSL) season, but had agreed to return on August 30, Shenhua said earlier.
“Tevez returned to Shanghai yesterday (Wednesday) and he starts training today,” a club spokesman said.
“The injuries are healed and he will participate in the games as normal.”
He will have work to do in winning over Shanghai fans fed up with his poor form and injury record. Many had called for him to not bother returning.
Tevez angered supporters in April when he was spotted at Shanghai Disneyland the same day he missed an important match due to injury, and he has hinted that he may look to leave China at the end of the season.
Tevez has a history of falling out with clubs and coaches during a colourful career that has included spells at Manchester City, Manchester United and Juventus.
Despite earlier hopes of a strong showing this year, Shanghai is below mid-table under Uruguayan coach Gus Poyet, who joined this season and is also in the hot seat.
The club’s next league match is not until September 10 against struggling Henan Jianye.