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Coach of the South American giants indicates that the star striker could miss this summer’s prestigious continental competition but assures of his long-term future

Argentina national team coach Sergio Batista has told the press he will likely leave Carlos Tevez out of his Copa America squad, but the striker could return to the fold after the tournament.

Tevez has just completed a successful 2010-11 campaign in England with Manchester City in which he played a crucial role in the Citizens’ FA Cup triumph and also led them to a third-place finish in the Premier League, thereby qualifying automatically for next season’s Champions League.

However, Baptista has yet to be convinced by the 27-year-old and his role in his team, having not given Tevez the chance to feature in his squad since the striker dropped out against Brazil in November. He also did not meet him during a recent European tour.

Batista now indicates that Tevez is unlikely to play for Argentina in the Copa America but assures that the former Corinthians and West Ham United star is part of his long-term plan.

"I understand people when they say he is a great player, [but] afterwards there are qualifiers and then the World Cup," the coach is quoted as saying by AFP. "Today, perhaps, he can't be at the Copa America - but I don't mean he is out of the team. Afterwards there are the qualifiers and the World Cup.”

Argentina will host the prestigious South American competition, which will begin on July 1.

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