Early Doors

Tevez Brazil move works for everyone

Early Doors

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Tuesday saw a few notable events in the continuing machinations of the summer transfer window, involving three of the most talked-about players linked with big moves.

Internazionale came out and insisted that Manchester United target Wesley Sneijder is not for sale, while Tottenham turned down an improved £27 million offer from Chelsea for Luka Modric (although Spurs boss Harry Redknapp gave a first hint at how much the Croatian might cost 'if' he were for sale).

But the biggest news was that of Manchester City rejecting a £35m bid from Brazilian league leaders Corinthians for striker Carlos Tevez.

After all of the cynicism surrounding the Argentine's persistent desire to leave the Etihad Stadium (see, that £400m sponsorship deal is already reaping rewards) to be closer to his family, this is the move back to South America that many thought would never be on the cards.

In theory this move would work out for everyone. Tevez gets to be on the same continent as his daughters and can play at a club he already knows well, having spent two years there before his move to England. City get to turn a profit on the £25m fee they paid for the player two years ago and avoid selling a world-class striker to a potential European rival. Kia Joorabchian, the advisor who still holds the leash on Tevez despite his Media Sports Investments company no longer owning him, gets to trouser another hefty fee for not doing very much really. Everybody wins.

Except City don't seem to see it like that. Evidently wanting to be seen as an outfit that can no longer be taken for a ride, they are holding out for a fee which reflects the player's true value. Which, considering the sums paid out for Fernando Torres and Andy Carroll not long ago, it is hard to refute.

After paying way over the odds for several of the players purchased since Sheikh Mansour's takeover, and looking likely to sustain as hefty a loss on the sale of Emmanuel Adebayor as they did on Robinho's departure, you can't blame the club for wanting to tighten up its transfer business a little.

They will also be mindful of the need to comply with Financial Fair Play, despite being boosted by that bumper £400m, 10-year ground sponsorship deal which has irked Arsene Wenger so. They are also acutely aware that they need to bring in as much cash as possible in order to justify a big outlay on a replacement for much the same reason.

However, they must tread carefully, because if this deal were to fall through it is unlikely a better one for all concerned will come along.

A return to Latin America did not appear to be an option for Tevez, given his status as one of the highest-paid players in the game. Corinthians may be one of the biggest clubs in Brazil, but they would not be able to match their erstwhile player's salary demands.

So just as well they probably would not have to, then. Football in Brazil, much like the country as a whole, is enjoying a prosperous economic era, and clubs have been able to tempt several players back home from Europe in recent years as well as keep hold of others who would usually have departed long ago.

They have been able to do this by encouraging sponsors to pay part of star players' wages, a system that is legal in Brazil despite the veritable minefield it potentially opens up.

The contract currently keeping Neymar at Santos, Robinho's loan move from City to the same club, Ronaldinho's switch to Flamengo and The Real Ronaldo's move to Corinthians before his retirement all happened thanks to funding in part by third parties, be they sports brands, pharmaceutical giants or whatever.

This is just the kind of market in which MSI would revel, with plenty of room for squeezing extra profits through loopholes to which such deals involving so many parties are so conducive.

Relations with Corinthians have evidently been smoothed over since Tevez went on strike in 2006 before joining West Ham on loan, a bizarre move that would be akin to someone like Daniel Sturridge going to Atletico Goianiense this summer.

But whatever the eventual amounts paid in fees and wages turn out to be, should this deal go through then perhaps it should be admitted that Tevez's intentions were true. Sure, he has come to England and caused all manner of trouble wherever he has gone, from the Sheffield United controversy via moaning his way out of United to their local rivals to exchanging hand gestures with Gary Neville.

But this is also a player who has scored 70 Premier League goals in his five years in England (more than half of which have come in two years at City), won all the biggest trophies and has run himself into the ground for every side he has played for even when his heart was supposedly not fully in it.

If a deal can be done to get him back to South America, then maybe the widespread disapproval of his actions should be reappraised.

- - -

QUOTE OF THE DAY: "Unfortunately, I was denied my visa due to my past. I regret not being able to travel with the club on this trip, but at the same time, I don't expect to be treated any differently or more favourably than anyone else in a similar situation. All I can do is continue to improve as a person, which is what I intend to do." - Newcastle midfielder Joey Barton will miss the club's pre-season trip to the United States after being denied a visa.

FOREIGN VIEW: "I do not know what to say, I can say that I am very close to Liverpool. At the end of the Copa America, we will see what happens with my future." - Colombia defender Cristian Zapata, June 17 2011.

"Zapata will join up with Villarreal CF once the Copa America in Argentina has finished." - A Villarreal club statement, July 13 2011.

COMING UP: Plenty of live sport for you today. You can follow live coverage of two Premier League sides in friendly action - Guangdong v Liverpool (13:00) and Malaysia All-Stars v Arsenal (13:45).

There are the two semi-finals of the Women's World Cup - France v USA (17:00) and Japan v Sweden (19:45). And finally tonight there are two Copa America clashes - Paraguay v Venezuela (00:15) and Brazil v Ecuador (01:45).

Plus coverage of Stage 11 of the Tour de France kicks off at 12:15, when you can follow the peloton from Blaye-les-Mines to Lavaur as it heads towards the Pyrenees.

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