Belfast Telegraph

Desperate Tevez snubs Man City's amazing cash offer

By Ian Herbert

Disgruntled Carlos Tevez has turned down the offer of a seven-figure cash windfall from Manchester City.

City revealed yesterday that Tevez is already their highest-paid player – with a salary of over £200,000 per week after tax, eclipsing even that of Yaya Touré – but in the light of the Argentine's demand for a transfer, the club offered him the one-off payment believed to be several million pounds in the hope he would stay for at least one more season.

The offer was made to him after he told the club in August that he was disillusioned with Roberto Mancini and desperate to leave.

City still remain insistent that he will not leave in January, having rejected a transfer demand which he personally dictated, in Spanish, to his solicitors who faxed the club on Tuesday evening. But the relationship between club and player appears utterly broken, after a day of claim and counter-claim yesterday when City pointed to the request from the player's representatives for a one-year extension – believed to have been made in October – as evidence that the saga is an attempt to negotiate a better deal.

The player's refusal of the one-off payment, which his representatives say would have put him in the same salary bracket as Real Madrid's £10m-a year Cristiano Ronaldo, the second-best-paid footballer in the world behind David Beckham, suggests that no manner of wealth will persuade him to stay. Chelsea, the only other possible Premier League destination for Tevez, may seek to capitalise on the player's desire to leave, although that would make a mockery of the player's claims that his unhappiness is born of separation from his two daughters who live with his estranged partner, Vanesa, in Buenos Aires.

Real Madrid seems a more likely destination. Tevez is said to consider one of his options to be a move to Spain in the hope that Vanesa, who is Spanish-speaking, may be willing to move there with daughters Katie and Florencia. The player's representatives say Vanesa's loneliness in England, where she was unable to grasp the language, contributed to the breakdown in the couple's relationship. Jose Mourinho is likely to be willing to take the Argentine; the Real Madrid manager is desperately in need of another striker and Tevez would certainly fit the bill.

Failing such a move, the Tevez camp say he may be prepared to return to play in Argentina, or even retire from the game altogether if he cannot find a way of being with his daughters. Tevez has, as City pointed out yesterday, been granted special dispensation to leave England, after his suspension from Saturday's match at West Ham. Tevez has spent his period away at a spa facility in Italy, rather than Buenos Aires, although his representatives say the player, expected back in Manchester this evening, had been granted only three days' leave – insufficient time to fly to South America and be back in time for training.

Tevez, who has spoken repeatedly of the "hurt" he feels at being away from his daughters, also cites a mood of dislocation at City as a reason for wishing to move on. He complained repeatedly about Mancini's training regime last season and his dressing-room bust-up during the win over Newcastle United in October, allied to his anger when Mancini substituted him in the 90th minute of City's win over Bolton Wanderers 10 days ago, contributed to his antipathy.

The player, who is said to be furious that an extended interview he gave to the City website and in-house magazine was released 24 hours after the Bolton incident, informed City as soon as he returned from the World Cup that he wished to leave. The player's representatives say that City asked his agent Kia Joorabchian to talk him around and that, with only days of the transfer window left to run, he was advised it was too late to move. The Tevez camp claim that City then offered a new contract deal. Joorabchian offered a counter offer – it was his job to keep all options open for Tevez despite the player's avowed desire to leave – and asked for a one-year contract extension.

City say the one-off payment was a "bonus payment" for Tevez's achievements last season. They insist they were unwilling to negotiate an improved salary because they do not undertake contractual deals in mid-season – only image rights and endorsement deals.

If Tevez refuses to fulfil his contract for the remainder of the season, City may have to sue him for breach of contract, which would ultimately leave him a free agent. The very least they will be able to achieve is limited co-operation in return for a guaranteed departure at the end of the season. Although they will not sell in January, they acknowledge it is difficult to say what next summer holds.

Belfast Telegraph


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