Tuesday 25 April 2017

Tevez vows to fight for City cause

Mancini relief as star striker withdraws transfer request to quit club in January

Goalkeeper Joe Hart can't prevent Tim Cahill opening the scoring for Everton. Photo: Getty Images
Goalkeeper Joe Hart can't prevent Tim Cahill opening the scoring for Everton. Photo: Getty Images

Mark Ogden

Carlos Tevez has ended an eight-day public stand-off with Manchester City by withdrawing his transfer request and pledging his "absolute commitment" to the club following talks with the City hierarchy prior to last night's clash with Everton at Eastlands.

The 26-year-old, who submitted a written transfer request two weeks ago, met club officials including the chairman, Khaldoon al Mubarak, yesterday morning before confirming he was happy to abandon plans to leave and remain a City player. Tevez's representative, Kia Joorabchian, was not present at the negotiations and City regard the successful resolution to the saga as a significant victory in their battle to diminish Joorabchian's influence at Eastlands.

However, with Tevez restating his commitment to City without financial reward, the player will view the outcome as vindication of his insistence that his disaffection was not money-related, particularly after he declined a seven-figure bonus earlier this season.

In a statement, City said: "During the meeting, Carlos expressed his absolute commitment to the club and formally withdrew his transfer request.

"Carlos's contract remains unchanged and both Carlos and the football club are keen to focus on the opportunities that lie ahead."

City manager Roberto Mancini, discussed the matter with Tevez, who retained the club captaincy for the Everton game, on Friday and again over the weekend, and said: "Carlos is a world-class player whose contribution since he joined the club has been invaluable. I am pleased that we are now able to focus on pure football matters and to be able to look forward to Carlos continuing to play a significant role in the club's progress."

Determined

Having seen the Tevez saga detract from the on-field success of Mancini's team in recent days, senior figures such as Khaldoon and chief executive Garry Cook had been determined to make a powerful statement of intent that they would not allow outside influences to create disharmony at a time when the tangible success of Champions League qualification appeared firmly with City's grasp.

With three-and-a-half years remaining on the five-year contract signed on his arrival from Manchester United in July 2009, Tevez and his representatives have also been told that there is no scope for negotiations on a new deal until the summer of 2012, once the forward has gone beyond the halfway stage of his present contract, which is understood to be worth in excess of £200,000-a-week.

The club operate a policy of not negotiating contracts mid-season and has also implemented a strategy of only reviewing players' terms once they have served more than 50 per cent of their contract.

After receiving Tevez's transfer request via the player's solicitor on December 7, City immediately rejected the written plea before publicly confirming their dismissal of the request five days later. And although Tevez issued a statement citing the breakdown of his relationship with senior figures at the club, namely Cook and football administrator Brian Marwood, City's Abu Dhabi-based hierarchy, headed by Al Mubarak, insisted that Tevez would not be granted his wish to leave.

Doubts in Abu Dhabi surrounding Tevez's motives behind his transfer request were fuelled by a suspicion that the move was merely a Trojan horse aimed at destabilising the roles of Cook and Marwood, but with the funds of Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al Nahyan placing City in a position whereby they would be immune to any financial pressures that might have materialised, Cook, Marwood and Mancini were told by the club's owner that they had a free rein to decide on the player's future.

Tevez's confirmation that he was happy to stay at City did not come until his meeting with the club's hierarchy on Monday, when he was able to discuss his issues and concerns. The absence of Tevez's representative, Joorabchian, in the meeting highlights the club's determination to nullify the influence of player agents, with senior figures believing that the direct talks with Tevez sent a clear message that they cannot be bullied by third parties.

However, Tevez is understood to have received assurances about the issues he and Joorabchian raised at the beginning of the dispute regarding the club's Champions League ambitions and his own personal situation.

With Wayne Rooney securing a £70,000-a-week pay rise at Manchester United in October after issuing a similar threat to leave Old Trafford, City's success in winning the Tevez battle points to the formidable resources supplied by Sheikh Mansour at Eastlands.

While United were backed into a corner by Rooney and his agent, Paul Stretford, due to the threat of the player's value plummeting with only 18 months remaining on his contract, City were under no such pressure with Tevez.

Although City's stance on Tevez ensures that he will not be allowed to leave in January, as had been his initial intention, the club's position may change in the summer should the player renew his attempt to leave.

However, if the situation arises whereby the club are prepared to sell their leading goalscorer, the player and his camp have been told that any transfer will only happen should it suit City and Mancini.

Qualification for the Champions League would ensure that City could attract a calibre of player presently beyond the club, a reality which would seemingly soften the blow of Tevez leaving Eastlands. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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