Saturday 22 October 2016

Antonio Conte praises Carlos Tevez 'as a player and a man' after reports of a Chelsea bid

Samuel Stevens

Published 28/07/2016 | 11:28

New Chelsea coach Antonio Conte
New Chelsea coach Antonio Conte

Antonio Conte has addressed claims by Carlo Tevez that Chelsea are interested in signing him by saying he appreciates the Argentine striker “as a player and also as a man”.

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The 32-year-old spent nine years in England, across spells with West Ham, Manchester United and City, before linking-up with Italian coach Conte at Juventus and subsequently returning to Buenos Aires to sign for Boca Juniors last summer.

Discussing the possibility of a return, Tevez told Corriere dello Sport: “I’m not coming back. I'm fine at Boca. Indeed my idea, my dream is to finish my career as a player in this wonderful club.

“Europe? Yes, it's true Napoli and Chelsea seek me, but I repeat what I said before. My desire is to stay at Boca until I retire.”

Following the 1-0 victory against Liverpool in the International Champions Cup in Los Angeles on Wednesday evening, Conte was quizzed on the prospects of signing Tevez this summer but instead elected to heap praise on the striker’s shoulders.

“Carlos was my player when I was coach at Juventus and I had a fantastic season with him and I appreciated Carlos as a player and also as a man,” Conte said.

“But now I know he is a player of Boca Juniors and he did a lot back in Argentina last season and I wish the best for him and his family.”

David Sullivan, the West Ham co-chairman, claimed earlier this month that the east London outfit had made overtures about brining Tevez back to the club, but the Argentine striker reportedly asked for wages in excess of £250,000-a-week.

Tevez remains popular among Hammers supporters after helping the club stave off relegation in 2007 under Alan Curbishley. Sullivan said: “We tried to get Tevez but he wanted £250,000 a week. In his last year at Juventus, he was great. But 250 grand a week?”

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