Manchester City appeared to be inching closer to ending the Carlos Tevez transfer saga last night, with Internazionale only £4m short of the £25m asking price which may persuade the club to let him go.
A £20.7m bid for Tevez, tabled by Internazionale late on Thursday, failed to meet the club's valuation for a player who has been absent from Manchester since he took a flight to Argentina in late October. City remain determined that Tevez will not hold them to ransom by, in effect, removing his services, though the desire to put an end to the matter means the club are likely to accept a bid of €30m (£24.8m) That is a big drop on the £40m the club said they would demand after having found him guilty of gross misconduct and fined him nearly £800,000 in October.
Tevez's departure will not strengthen manager Roberto Mancini's hand in his pursuit of a new player this month, since Sergio Aguero was seen as the replacement when purchased for £38m last summer in the expectation his compatriot would leave. Yet City know Tevez's value will only diminish as his period out of football lengthens.
City insisted in October that their Abu Dhabi owners considered it a point of principle that the 27-year-old should not be allowed to leave at a cut-price rate for reasons of expediency.