Tevez is now City's fourth-choice striker

Carlos Tevez’s fall from grace continues at Manchester City, with boss Roberto Mancini admitting he is not even his THIRD choice striker.

Mancini says Mario Balotelli is now ahead of the Argentinian in his pecking order, because he is more versatile.

The news is the latest blow for Tevez, who has lost the captain’s armband, his status as City’s star man and his place in the Argentina squad in the last few weeks.

Tevez looked low on confidence against Birmingham in the midweek Carling Cup win and fluffed a gilt-edged chance. He also missed a penalty against Wigan two weeks ago.

Mancini admits the player is suffering because of the cut-throat competition among his strikers.

Sergio Aguero and Edin Dzeko have banged in 14 league goals between them, while Mancini says Balotelli can play in more positions than Tevez.

“Mario is different to Carlos because Mario can play wide like a winger or can play with Dzeko, Aguero or Carlos up front,” said the City manager. “Mario maybe has more chances to play because he can play out wide.

“I am not the Argentina manager, so I don’t know why he hasn’t picked Carlos. But Carlos is not 100 per cent fit at the moment.

“He needs to play to find some good form. It’s clear he understands that we have other strikers who are playing well and scoring goals.

“But for me, against Birmingham, he didn’t play like he usually plays. He’s getting better and he needs to play more games.

“The chance he had in the last minutes, he did well, only his finish was so-so. After 85 minutes he was so tired and I think that had something to do with it.”

Tevez is desperate to start against Everton in Saturday's lunchtime game, as Mancini’s side aim to end the Merseysiders’ jinx over them.

David Moyes’ men have won seven of their last eight games, including the last four in a row, and Mancini, who clashed with the Scot during one defeat, is determined to put this right.

“I don’t know why their record against us is so good,” said the Italian. “We want to cancel this game!

"Football can happen like this, but if we play well this time then we can finish this run. Now is the time to change it. We deserved to beat them twice last year. But Everton are a strong team who work to the end.

“Although they sold Mikel Arteta, they are just as strong. Last year they started so-so, but this season they have started better.

“They have good players, like Cahill, who I like a lot, and a good manager. They are a really strong team and they can have a good season. But tomorrow we want to win.”