Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson has revealed that he is crossing his fingers that Carlos Tevez will be at Old Trafford next season, but admits that he may well not be.
The Argentina international's two-year loan spell with the Red Devils is due to end this summer and they are yet to agree terms with El Apache's owners to sign him permanently.
Asked whether United are vulnerable to losing the 25-year-old at the end of the season, Ferguson replied, "Of course we are, no question about that.
"That is our weakness. His loan period finishes at the end of the season."
However, the Scot is optimistic that the former Boca Juniors and Corinthians star will extend his stay with the European Champions.
"I think he genuinely wants to stay here and that is what we are working towards and I have told him that repeatedly.
"But there is no more I can do. He should be here next season, I certainly hope so."
Tevez has also recently expressed his frustration at the lack of playing time he has been afforded this season but Ferguson insists he has played as much as, if not more, than Wayne Rooney and Dimitar Berbatov.
"I don’t want him to be unhappy because he is an important player for us. The difficulty is when you have got the options I have got.
"I bought another striker in with Berbatov, as well as having the option of playing [Cristiano] Ronaldo as a striker — you create problems for yourself because all good players want to play in every game.
"They can’t play in every game in this league — it is impossible. But he’s played more minutes than Rooney and Berbatov this season.
"He does give fantastic effort. That is one of his best qualities. He is a tiger, he fights for every ball, he holds it up well, he is a handful to play against, we know that.
"But I go back to the point that he has played more minutes than any of the other players up front and I think if he looked at that he would think differently.
"That is what we say to all the players. When you deal with the squad I have got they are all internationals," concluded Ferguson.
Ricky Brooks, Goal.com