Manchester City have rejected captain Carlos Tevez’s written transfer request, the Premier League club said yesterday.
City, who went joint top of the league on Saturday, said they were disappointed by the move, particularly as they had been so accommodating of the Argentina striker’s personal circumstances of his family living in South America.
“This is both an unfortunate and unwelcome distraction and the club will remain focused on the games ahead in what is turning out to be a very promising season,” the club said in a statement on its Web site.
“The door remains open for Carlos to be selected to play,” the club added.
Tevez, who joined City last year after a spell at Manchester United and is the club’s highest-paid player, missed Saturday’s 3-1 victory at former club West Ham United because of a suspension.
He has been enjoying some of the best form of his career at City, scoring 33 goals in 50 league -appearances, and his desire to leave comes as more of a disappointment than a shock to fans given reports he is feeling homesick.
The 26-year-old has often spoken of his desire to return to South America and in August he hinted that he could even consider retiring from the game, such was his dismay at Argentina’s defeat by Germany in the World Cup quarter-finals.
“Roberto Mancini and all at the club have shown, and will continue to show, sensitivity to Carlos’ personal circumstances including the issue of his family being based overseas,” the club statement said.
“Indeed following his suspension as a result of the game against Bolton, Carlos requested, and was given, special dispensation by the manager to take leave overseas,” the statement said. “The written transfer request is in stark contrast to Carlos’ stated position in both public and club contexts.”
The club said it had received numerous requests over recent months from Tevez’s representatives to renegotiate and improve his playing contract, as well as more recently a request to extend the contract by another year.
Tevez, who cost City about ￡26 million (US$41.18 million), would attract interest from Europe’s biggest clubs in the approaching transfer window and City would have little trouble recouping their outlay.