Manchester City's attempts to get Carlos Tevez off their books this month have been boosted by a move from Internazionale, while discussions also resumed yesterday between the player's representatives and Milan.
Inter are well behind their Milanese neighbours and have made few positive noises about Tevez so far, though the club's head of technical staff, Marco Branca, has arranged a meeting with City. There has been no contact between Inter and the agent Kia Joorabchian, whose work to seek a move for Tevez to Milan led to him meeting that club's vice -president Adriano Galliani yesterday. Milan would appear to be by far Tevez's preferred option, with personal terms already struck between player and club, who also met City last month.
Inter's tentative interest has been known for some time, though they have chosen to remain in the background. Reports from Italy last night suggested that they may also be seeking to make a permanent offer, paying in staged instalments from this summer. That could place Inter ahead of their neighbours, who have yet to move beyond the option of a loan deal for the remainder of this season, with a view to buying in the summer.
City, though, will not contemplate a loan. Tevez would welcome a move to either Milan club. Talk of a move to the French side Paris St-Germain is far less realistic.
The City manager, Roberto Mancini, will be unable to field Owen Hargreaves from the start in place of the suspended Gareth Barry when City face Manchester United in the FA Cup third round on Sunday.
Mancini spoke on Tuesday night of how Hargreaves had trained well this week and it had been the club's expectation that he would be approaching Premier League fitness levels by this month. But, after sustaining minor knocks in training, he will be confined to the bench against his old side at the Etihad Stadium.
James Milner said City were anticipating a United side seeking vengeance for the 6-1 defeat visited upon them earlier this season in the Premier League. "That will have hurt them bad," the midfielder said. "We have got to be aware of that."