City, Chelsea lead race to sign Tevez: advisor

LONDON: Manchester City and Chelsea are leading the race to snap up Carlos Tevez, the Argentinian forward's advisor said Sunday.

Tevez's two-year loan deal with Manchester United was set to expire this month. United on Saturday offered Tevez a new five-year deal but, after consultation with his advisor Kia Joorabchian, he turned it down.

Joorabchian said they had decided against a possible move to Liverpool "out of respect" for Manchester United, who are the Reds' biggest northern rivals.

He indicated that City, or Chelsea, may now be Tevez's next destination.

Joorabchian told TalkSport: "We ruled Liverpool out because of the competitive nature of Manchester United and Liverpool.

"He has a lot of respect and a lot of love for the fans of Man United and I think he would rule Liverpool out as being the biggest competitor.

"City and Chelsea probably would be the two clubs that are on the table.

"City have obviously been in contact with us. I've spoken to (City executive chairman) Garry (Cook) and to (manager) Mark (Hughes) on several occasions.

"We haven't talked to them about a contract, we haven't talked to Chelsea either about that because we've respected the fact that Carlos is a Manchester United player.

"Without getting into the point of whether he's going to City or Chelsea or wherever, the issue is that I think Carlos wants to go to a club which has real ambition, a club which is showing intent, a club which he can help achieve great things.

"City have shown a lot of ambition with the players they've brought in in the last year or so, and Chelsea are also showing a lot of ambition - they want to win the Champions League. Both have that ambition.

"He's basically given away with the two European clubs that have come to him. He hasn't totally disregarded the option but he's put it down his pecking order and I think he'd want to stay in the Premier League."

Joorabchian insisted their refusal of United's offer, that would have made Tevez one of the club's highest paid players, was because it simply came too late.

He said: "If it was, let's say, Wayne Rooney's contract finishing six months before, or Cristiano Ronaldo's contract finishing six months before, would they have offered a better deal to them at that time or would they have tried to secure their services a bit sooner?

"He has that little bit of a feeling that maybe he wasn't the most wanted person at United. Rightly or wrongly, that's how he feels."

Joorabchian expects a decision to be known by the first week in July.

Tevez's economic rights and transfer activities are owned by a group of investors, including Joorabchian.

But he said there will be no future issues with who owns the player's rights, with the next deal set to be a permanent one.

Joorabchian added: "The Premier League have changed their rules now when you do make a transfer it has to be a permanent transfer. All his rights will be sold, all his economical rights will be sold and he will belong to the club that he will play for.

"Pre-season will start somewhere between 9 and 12 July. He will have to start wherever he starts by 11, 12 July.

"So, by the first week of July, there will be a decision made, a contract signed and a club announced."