"Carlos did not refuse to play, and what he did was no worse than Cesc Fabregas, Luka Modric and Samir Nasri refusing to play.”
That was the startling and contradictory defence of Carlos Tevez delivered by his adviser Kia Joorabchian yesterday, a defence which is unlikely to improve relations with Manchester City given it was made in the middle of the club's internal investigation into the Argentine's apparent refusal to go on as a substitute against Bayern Munich last week.
Joorabchian then poured further oil on the flames by suggesting other managers such as Sir Alex Ferguson, would have handled the affair better than City's Roberto Mancini.
In a further inflammatory twist he insisted Tevez's post-match comments in Munich, which appeared to be a confession that he refused to come on, were mistranslated and blamed the club for not having a “professional” translator.
“We have seen this happen all through the summer,” Joorabchian said. “I think we have seen Fabregas, Modric..,. Nasri, the list goes on, but they are the high-profile names.
“Throughout the summer they were handing in transfer requests, refused to travel, refused to play. I think that is a problem in general.
“My opinion is that they refused to play, but they refused to play in a different way [to Tevez]. Cesc had a big problem all through summer. Modric handed a transfer request in. I think he didn't play in the first Europa League game and it was reported that he did not want to play.”
Fabregas, who was being pursued by Barcelona, did not play in Arsenal's pre-season games but the club said he was unfit and there is no reason to dispute that.
Nasri played for Arsenal against Liverpool days before his transfer to Manchester City was concluded.
Modric, the subject of bids from Chelsea, was left out of Spurs' opening Europa League game at Hearts, as were several other Tottenham players.
He then told Redknapp two hours prior to kick-off his head was not right to play against Manchester City, but Redknapp insisted he played. Spurs lost 5-1. Modric stayed with the club and is playing regularly.
“Those managers and clubs handled it very differently [to Mancini and City],” added Joorabchian.
“Robert has his style of management. He is very direct and totally different to, let's say Sir Alex Ferguson, Arsene Wenger or Carlo Ancelotti.
“Carlos feels that he has been judged and condemned before the case has really been looked into. Carlos and Roberto now need to sit down and have a conversation.”