While Shanghai Shenhua are open to the possibility of keeping Carlos Tevez, the Chinese Super League side insist the former Manchester United and Juventus forward will have the final say on his future.
Tevez – reportedly earning a weekly salary of £615,000 – endured a forgettable first season at Shenhua, failing to live up to the hype amid weight and form issues in the CSL, as speculation grows over a possible return to boyhood club Boca Juniors.
The 33-year-old scored just four goals in 16 CSL matches before he was left out of the squad for both legs of the Chinese FA Cup final against city rivals Shanghai SIPG, who lost on away goals.
Earlier this week, Shenhua refused to rule out extending Tevez’s contract but the Chinese club said the veteran’s future is dependent on himself.
“Tevez will decide whether to stay or leave. His future hinges on the decision made by himself instead of Shenhua Football Club,” Shenhua said during a news briefing.
“Tevez’s attitude, of which Shenhua have no control, will have a direct bearing on his performance. In other words, even if Shenhua really want to keep him at the club and see him play well, Tevez still has the final say.
“It is true that we have received bids from other clubs to buy Tevez, but Shenhua hope he express his true feelings first. Otherwise all efforts will go in vain.
“Shenhua have no chance of selling Tevez to a club where he doesn’t want to join.”
Should Tevez decide to return, he’ll have to stay fit during his down time.
The Chinese club have laid down ground rules that the players must return in good shape after Tevez was accused of being overweight by head coach Wu Jingui back in September.
The CSL outfit’s coaching staff have have told their squad they must report back to the club in perfect shape after the holidays, and to expect a punishment if they are not.
The club has a rule that each player is allowed to gain two kilos maximum in the off-season, otherwise the person will be deemed overweight and be fined 50 thousand yuan (£5600) for every 0.5 kilo he gains.