x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Manchester City content to dig in and defy unsettled Tevez

Club under no pressure to sell and will not indulge the Argentine striker who is yet to submit a transfer request.

Carlos Tevez, the Manchester City striker, has stated his desire to leave Eastlands but has yet to submit a transfer request.
Carlos Tevez, the Manchester City striker, has stated his desire to leave Eastlands but has yet to submit a transfer request.

The executives at Manchester City will continue to adopt a defiant stance over the future of the restless Carlos Tevez, who continues to agitate for a move away from the Abu Dhabi-owned club.

Tevez, 27, publicly announced his desire to leave the English Premier League club for the second time in seven months on Monday, yet the news has not sent a wave of panic through the boardroom at Eastlands.

Following the first transfer request in December, which was retracted in the space of a week, the club had always readied themselves for a repeat performance from a player who has spent no more than two seasons at his two previous Premier League clubs. Yet he has not handed in an official transfer request this time.

Tevez still has three years left on the lucrative contract he signed when he moved from Manchester United in the summer of 2009 and City intend to make sure he honours that agreement until they receive an offer from a club which matches their valuation.

City signed the Argentine striker from United in July 2009 for a fee somewhere between £25 million and £47m (Dh147.7m-Dh277.7m). He has since scored 44 goals in 62 league appearances.

"People said he wasn't worth the money [City paid for him] — now he's probably worth double that," Micah Richards, the City defender, said in an interview with The National in February.

Any suitor will also have to meet Tevez's substantial wages at City.

He is the club's highest paid player and any interested club — Tevez favours a move to Spain or Italy — will either have to meet his pay demands or Tevez will have to accept a reduced salary and then forfeit the difference between his new salary and his wages at City. His current employers will not be prepared to subsidise any part of any deal.

City will also be fairly relaxed about the prospect of retaining an unhappy player. Tevez expressed his unhappiness with life in England in December but still went on to score a further 14 goals. Tevez knows a self-enforced prolonged absence from the team will see his stock plummet.

There also appears little chance of City indulging Tevez with a new improved contract, like United did with Wayne Rooney, their England striker, last year.

Given the resources at the club's disposal - owner Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed has spent £257m on transfer fees alone in the last three summers - City, unlike so many clubs with a disgruntled player on their books, are also under no pressure to sell.

When assessing Tevez's transfer value, the club will have been interested to note the reported £20m United paid Aston Villa for the services of Ashley Young, who is less than 18 months younger than Tevez but possesses significantly fewer international caps and has less of a Premier League pedigree.

City were hopeful that automatic qualification for the Champions League, winning the FA Cup and allowing Tevez to lift the trophy at Wembley Stadium would convince him to commit his short-term future to the ambitious club and create a legacy.

But on the advice of his trusted agent Kia Joorabchian, who is not a popular figure in the corridors of power at Eastlands, Tevez has decided to attempt to engineer a move once more.

He has cited a desire to spend more time with his two daughters, Florencia and Katia, and wife, Vanesa, as the major reason for his request to leave.

The signing this week of Gael Clichy from Arsenal, the expected arrival of the Partizan Belgrade captain Stefan Savic and a mooted deal to raid the Gunners again for Samir Nasri, appears to have done little to alter Tevez's stance.

Sergio Aguero has been touted as a possibly replacement should City grant Tevez his wish but Aguero confirmed he has received an offer from Juventus.

kaffleck@thenational.ae