Tevez fitness a concern as Inter baulk at City's £25m price-tag
Manchester City have rejected Inter Milan's £21m offer for Carlos Tevez and are prepared to reject all bids unless the club's £25m valuation of the Argentinian forward is met before the January 31 transfer deadline.
With AC Milan abandoning their long-term pursuit of the 27-year-old last week due to a failure to persuade City to agree to a loan deal ahead of a permanent switch in the summer, Inter have stepped up their attempt to sign the former Manchester United striker by lodging their own bid.
But despite the prospect of finally cutting their ties with a player who has been in dispute with the club since returning to Argentina without permission in November, City remain steadfast in their determination to hold out for a £25m fee.
Having paid in excess of £32m to sign Tevez following his departure from Old Trafford in July 2009, City have no intention of selling for below the player's perceived market value.
But the Premier League leaders have been unable to persuade any interested party to agree to a permanent transfer this month.
Tevez's lack of match fitness -- he has not played since allegedly refusing to play as a substitute during the Champions League defeat against Bayern Munich in September -- is understood to be a concern to both Milan and Inter and a factor in both clubs' refusal to meet City's demands.
Having agreed personal terms following lengthy negotiations, Milan had been reluctant to complete a permanent deal in January amid fears that Tevez would require at least of month of intensive training in order to return to match fitness.
Inter president Massimo Moratti is prepared to risk him being unavailable for a short period, but manager Claudio Ranieri voiced his reservations about a move for Tevez following the weekend victory over Milan.
"We've found balance, so what can this player give us if he isn't playing?" Ranieri said. "And what will he take away?"
Talks between City and Milan collapsed last Thursday, but Tevez remains hopeful that the Rossoneri will return to the table.
Although Tevez is open to a move to Inter, the club have yet to discuss personal terms with the player, who earns £198,000 a week at City, while Milan have forged a good working relationship with Tevez and his advisors.
Milan have made it clear, however, that Pato's decision to reject a £22m transfer to Paris St-Germain last week has left the club without the finances to complete a permanent move for Tevez this month. (© Daily Telegraph, London)