Shanghai Shenhua have not ruled out extending Carlos Tevez's contract despite his disappointing first season in the Chinese Super League.
Tevez's campaign was beset by injuries and speculation that he wanted to return to Boca Juniors after leaving to sign a two-year contract with Shanghai in January.
But deputy general manager Zhou Jun told Shanghai TV there was a possibility that the 33-year-old's stay could be extended.
"We decided to buy Tevez because the AFC Champions League qualifying phase was about to begin and at that time the new rules [to curb big signings] did not come to light," he said.
"Tevez was playing quite well in both Boca Juniors and Juventus. And since there was an arms race going on [in the CSL], our club needed a player who had a reputation and universal appeal.
"Of course, in the end, he is not living up to those expectations. But he keeps working very hard to be in contention to play.
"As for whether or not to extend his contract next year, it has to be a mutual choice. His future hinges on the outcome of further negotiations between the two parties."
Tevez scored four goals in 16 appearances in the Chinese Super League but was dropped from the squad for the Chinese FA Cup final against Shanghai SIPG on Sunday.
Shenhua won to claim the trophy for the first time since 1998 and qualify for the group phase of next year's AFC Champions League alongside league champions Guangzhou Evergrande.