Tevez to leave Old Trafford
MANCHESTER United's bid for glory on five fronts is unfolding against a backdrop of growing instability, with Carlos T�vez joining Cristiano Ronaldo in contemplating a future away from Old Trafford.
MANCHESTER United's bid for glory on five fronts is unfolding against a backdrop of growing instability, with Carlos T�vez joining Cristiano Ronaldo in contemplating a future away from Old Trafford. (Times)
T�vez has expressed his desire to stay at United beyond his present “lease” arrangement, which expires on June 30, but, despite starting three of their past four Barclays Premier League matches, he has been disillusioned at being left out of the starting line-up for the biggest games.
The Argentina forward was particularly frustrated at being dropped to the substitutes' bench for both legs of the Champions League ties against Inter Milan and Porto. Dimitar Berbatov was preferred for the 1-0 win in Porto on Wednesday despite appearing less than fully fit.
Sir Alex Ferguson is eager to assure T�vez that he has an important role to play in the weeks ahead, with a strong possibility that the forward could start the FA Cup semi-final against Everton on Sunday, and in the longer term. However, the player feels that he is effectively third-choice striker behind Berbatov and Wayne Rooney.
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T�vez has also been disappointed by the club's insistence on waiting until the end of the season before addressing his future at a time when Real Madrid, Inter Milan and Juventus, as well as Chelsea and Manchester City, are showing firm interest in his services.
Discussions between David Gill, the United chief executive, and Kia Joorabchian, head of the companies that own the player's “economic rights”, began this season, but the two sides have never been close to an agreement.
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United have given consideration to the deal proposed by Joorabchian, which would cost them a further �22 million to acquire the player's registration in addition to at least �100,000 a week in wages, but Gill believes that there should be room for negotiation.
It is unclear how the situation will be resolved, with any other interested club faced with a possible �32 million bill to buy T�vez, given that United have already paid �10 million to have him on loan for the past two seasons.
City and Chelsea are aware of the player's likely availability, along with Inter, but his most likely destination may be Madrid, with Florentino P�rez eager to secure the forward's signature as he prepares for his expected re-election as the Spanish club's president.
The name of Ronaldo is certain to figure prominently in those elections, which are scheduled for June 14. The United forward was frustrated at being denied his “dream move” to Real by Ferguson last summer, but he and his agent, Jorge Mendes, believe that the Premier League club will not stand in his way if an opportunity arises to join Real this summer.
Ronaldo does not have any written agreement with Real or with P�rez, whose ideal signing would be that of Kak�, the Brazil playmaker, from AC Milan, but, while United maintain that he is not for sale, the Portugal forward is understood to be confident that his wish to move to the Spanish capital will finally be granted this summer.