CARLOS Tevez – one of the world’s best-paid footballers – is “overweight” and will not play for Shanghai Shenhua until he gets fit.
That is what the Chinese Super League’s caretaker manager Wu Jingui has said, only days after Gus Poyet quit as boss.
The 33-year-old recently returned to China following a two-week trip to Argentina to recover from a muscle injury.
Wu, in an interview with the South China Morning Post, also criticised midfielder Fredy Guarin’s fitness levels.
“I will not pick him right now. He’s not ready physically. He’s not fit to play,” Wu said of Tevez.
“He is overweight, along with Guarin. I have to take responsibility for the team and the players as well.
“If you are unable to do your utmost to play, there’s no point in picking you. I have coached lots of big stars, and my players are never picked on reputation.”
Tevez, who has enjoyed a glittering career with Boca Juniors, Corinthians, West Ham United, Manchester United, Manchester City and Juventus – as well as the Argentina national team – has struggled for form in China.
He joined Shenhua earlier this year on a reported wage of US$788,500 a week – a figure he later played down – but has scored only twice in 12 appearances.
“I had a talk with him today about tactics, but I won’t let him play for now, he isn’t physically ready,” Wu added.
Big-spending Shenhua, who are 11th in the Super League, placed Wu in temporary charge following Poyet’s departure earlier this week.