Manchester City’s new signing Carlos Tevez denied on Tuesday that Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson did his best to keep him at Old Trafford.
The 25-year-old Argentine international striker has signed for United’s city rivals in a £25.5 million (US$42 million) five-year contract after his two-year deal at United ran out at the end of last season.
As United headed towards their 18th league title at the end of last term, speculation about whether United would extend Tevez’s contract grew ever stronger before Ferguson decided not to keep the Argentine.
However, Ferguson suggested on Monday that he had in fact wanted to retain Tevez’s services and said that he had tried to contact him in January regarding his future — only to be ignored by his player.
Those claims were comprehensively refuted by Tevez at his unveiling at the City of Manchester Stadium on Tuesday as he insisted that Ferguson had never once been in touch.
“The fact I didn’t stay at United was not about the fans it was because David Gill [chief executive] and Ferguson did not do enough to keep me there,” Tevez said.
“I was there for two years and Sir Alex never called or sent any text messages in that time,” he said. “The only time he talked to me was after a match against Roma to discuss a situation about going to play for Argentina.”
“It doesn’t seem that this is the way to treat a player in two years at the club,” Tevez said.
Manchester City have not won English football’s top-flight title since 1968 — in stark contrast to United’s seemingly endless run of trophies over the last 15 years — but Tevez insists he is not concerned about the past and will use City’s lack of silverware as a major motivation.
“The ambition I have here is to help Manchester City recover the status that the club once had as one of the best clubs in England,” Tevez said. “I am here to try and win titles and trophies — that is my main ambition.”
City manager Mark Hughes has the biggest available funds of any boss in the Premier League and the club continues to be linked with Arsenal striker Emmanuel Adebayor and Chelsea captain John Terry.
Officials from City and Arsenal have been locked in discussions for the last 24 hours regarding Adebayor’s future and a deal is looking increasingly more likely.
The same cannot be said of Terry as Hughes admitted that it will be difficult to draw the England captain away from Stamford Bridge, despite offering weekly wages in excess of £250,000 a week.
“There have been discussions between us and Arsenal [regarding Adebayor] but it is my usual response to players we haven’t signed — it is not the right time or place to be discussing that,” Hughes said.
“There’s been contact and there is a deal to be done possibly but it’s not been concluded as we speak here,” he said. “I also have fantastic respect for John Terry ever since I saw him when I was at Chelsea as a player myself.”
“I think any manager would covet a player like John Terry but at this moment in time he is a Chelsea player and we have to respect that,” Hughes said.
■TEVEZ: THE MOVIE
AP, BUENOS AIRES
A film about the life of Carlos Tevez could be coming soon to a theater near you.
Uruguayan filmmaker Adrian Caetano said late on Monday he is planning to make a film about Tevez’s life, and hopes to start production early next year.