When Carlos Tevez announced his intention to leave Manchester City mid-way through last season, the club described the situation as an “unfortunate and unwelcome distraction”. Tevez handed in a transfer request in December, a decision that he claimed was prompted by a breakdown of relationships with certain City executives. The club rejected the untimely request, eager for Tevez to remain a Manchester City player to help continue the club’s progression.
Tevez subsequently stayed at Eastlands after being persuaded to withdraw his request, much to the relief of the club, and played a pivotal role, helping City secure Champions League football, as well as leading the club to FA Cup glory, ending a 35-year trophy drought.
Despite the successes of last season, Tevez again articulated his determination to leave the club this summer. Currently on international duty with Argentina, Tevez cited the separation from his family as the reason behind his intention to quit City claiming: “I need to be closer to them and to spend more time with them. Living without my children in Manchester has been incredibly challenging for me. Everything I do, I do for my daughters.” The Argentine’s family currently reside in his homeland having failed to settle in the North-west.
If Tezez’s previous request presented an unwelcome distraction for the club, his latest declaration, which would have come as little surprise, appeared to leave City’s hierarchy less concerned, as the conclusion of transfer deals for Gael Clichy and Stefan Savic took precedent over the former United star’s latest transfer enunciation.
The club’s aloof reaction is a sign of city’s progress over the past seven months. New signings take priority as the ‘noisy neigbours’ attempt to prepare a squad capable of wrestling the Premier League crown from the red half of Manchester, as well as challenging as they dine at Europe’s top table in their maiden Champions League voyage.
It had been reported that City executives were ready to plead with Tevez to reconsider his position. Those reports proved wide of the mark when the club nonchalantly announced that it would take a bid of at least £50 million to secure the Argentine’s services. Symapthy for their talismanic striker’s unfortunate family situation appears distinctly absent. The club have made it abundantly clear that a cut-price deal for Tevez will not be sanctioned.
And why should it?
City’s position of strength permits them to remain defiant and any potential move should be dictated by the club, on terms that best suit them. Tevez has three years remaining on his contract, and City hardly need to sell for financial reasons.
Solace should also be taken from Tevez’s abiding work rate and consistently superb performances, despite being publicly discontented with life in the North-west. With a return of 20 Premier League goals last season City should hold no qualms about keeping a player pining for a move.
However, City have made it clear that should a suitable offer be received Tevez will be allowed to leave the club. But, the £50 million price tag, coupled with the player’s wage demands make the Argentine an unrealistic target, even for most of Europe’s heavyweights.
Inter Milan are known admirers of Tevez and had been credited with an interest in the striker, before sporting director, Marco Branca, admitted a deal would not be possible. “Tevez is a great player, a great character, but absolutely no. His salary means it is out of the question. The market is crazy at the moment and it is hard to compete.”
With Barcelona apperently focusing all their attention on capturing long-term target Cesc Fabregas and a lack of interest from Real Madrid, the list of possible employers is looking very much like the Argentine’s will to stay in Manchester – somewhat meager.
Tevez has sounded out a possible transfer back to boyhood club Boca Juniors as an ideal situation, but has accepted that finances would probably restrict such a move materialising. It is another of Tevez’s former clubs however, that have moved to take him back to South America.
Corinthians, the club Tevez left in 2006 to join West Ham, lodged a £35 million bid earlier this week, in an attempt to lure its former striker back to Brazil. The offer fell well short of Manchester City’s asking price and was hastily rejected by the club.
The situation has ‘protracted transfer saga’ written all over it, and with Tevez’s future so uncertain, only a fool would predict where the Argentine will be plying his trade next season. My guess? He remains with City.