I'll stay if you let me leave this summer
Spain the likely destination as want-away striker Tevez makes his return to training
Published 14/12/2010 | 05:00
Carlos Tevez is willing to stay at Manchester City until next summer if he can be granted a move away from the Premier League club then.
The 26-year-old will return to training today and will continue to make himself available for first-team duty. He is prepared to travel to Turin, for example, for Thursday's Europa League tie against Juventus even though it is a 'dead rubber'.
It is understood that Tevez also accepts that City might want to strip him of the captaincy because he submitted a written transfer request and because of his statement on Sunday evening, which highlighted that his relations with "certain executives" have "broken down beyond repair".
That was a clear reference to chief executive Garry Cook, in particular, who is believed to have taken an aggressive stance to Tevez's situation after the Argentine made it known that he wanted to quit City last July -- and although he made reference to this in his statement, the club have subsequently denied it.
City blame Tevez's representative Kia Joorabchian for the souring of relations while there are two polarised claims: the club insist the rift is about money and the demand for a new contract, while the player's camp are adamant that his desire to leave is not about finance but his own happiness.
Significantly, City do not deny that Tevez was offered a bonus, thought to be around £5m, which the player turned down. If he was purely motivated by money it's hard to believe he would not have accepted the offer, for example, which was unsolicited. Tevez's camp entirely reject claims that they asked for an improved deal last week.
It is now hoped that the stand-off between the two sides might calm down over the next few days and it may well be that the way in which the club now approach Tevez determines how this crisis plays itself out.
The onus would appear to be on Cook. Tevez has made it plain that he wants to leave in January but having also outlined, in his statement, "the need to clear my head" then if he is spoken to in a more conciliatory way, it might improve relations. However, the fact that Tevez has been unhappy for some time and this has not been dealt with, does not bode well.
Certainly the threat emanating from the club that it might consider suing Tevez for breach of contract will not help matters. That course of action would be met head-on, with sources claiming last night that the striker would be willing to go to arbitration -- and then Fifa -- to buy himself out of his contract if the club wanted to take it that far.
It was also pointed out that such cases usually don't end with a player's market value being met, so Tevez would leave for less than City could sell him for, and, as other clubs have discovered in the past, legal action can often dissuade players from joining them.
If Tevez were to stay at City and sign a new deal it would totally undermine his argument that he is unable to carry on at the club and the belief that the estrangement from his partner, who is back in Argentina, and the lack of access to his two children has compounded the problems he has faced.
In theory, if there was a change to the way City was run, Tevez's feelings might change but the reality is that he wants to leave, and is determined to do so, and his most likely destination would be Spain. There are more direct flights to Buenos Aires from Spain and given the shared language, it might encourage his former partner to bring the children over more often to see him.
Chelsea are interested in signing Tevez but it would be highly unlikely, despite the admiration of manager Carlo Ancelotti, that he would remain in England should be leave City.
The problem for now is that City cannot afford to destabilise their highly promising season by selling Tevez in the January window -- even though that is his hope -- but also that they cannot continue with such an unhappy player in their ranks given his previous importance to them.
Despite their strong form, City are facing a delicate situation given that Tevez is not the only disenchanted player in the squad.
Several personalities have been frozen out under Roberto Mancini while the roll call of those who are not in the manager's plans is lengthy: Emmanuel Adebayor, Shay Given, Micah Richards, Wayne Bridge, Joleon Lescott, Craig Bellamy and Shaun Wright-Phillips. There are also question marks over how content others, such as Nigel de Jong and Mario Balotelli, are at the club. (© Daily Telegraph, London)