Roberto Mancini has claimed he "doesn't know" whether Carlos Tevez will play for Manchester City again.
Journalists attending Mancini's press conference ahead of Saturday's Premier League encounter with Aston Villa at the Etihad Stadium were informed the subject of Tevez's present disciplinary case was off limits. However, the Blues boss was still asked whether Tevez had a future with the club.
"I don't know," said Mancini.
Earlier, a City official had outlined the club's position and warned the press conference would be terminated if questions about Tevez were asked.
"We have been unable to allow questions about Carlos Tevez today, either to Carlos in general, his alleged conduct on the night in question, or the ramifications of that conduct," said the official.
"Questions also in relation to his future at the club are strictly off limits today and won't be answered. Breaches of this will result in the press conference being cancelled."
Amid that, Mancini was denied the opportunity to state whether Tevez would be available for selection before his case is over, which could be December if the appeals processes are explored fully. However, the City chief did give an indication Tevez was not in his plans when he addressed how many strikers he had available for the Villa game.
"We have three strikers at this moment," said Mancini, who has vowed not to take any risks with Sergio Aguero, who has been suffering from an adductor muscle injury."