Carlos Tevez has declared that an "exit" from Old Trafford would be the "best solution" for him at the end of the season and that he is now weighing up which club to move on to.
The Argentine is resigned to leaving Manchester United because he has concluded there are simply too many players above him in the pecking order to give him regular first-team football. "You score three or four goals and then in the next match you don't play," he told the Radio del Plata radio station in his own country.
"There are a lot of good players here but I need to play [and] I need a regular place in the team to offer my best levels. If that can't happen it will be my last year. I train every day and I've never said anything against any of my team-mates. But the truth is that there are other options for next season. There are a lot of players [at United] and they all need to play. I've not lost my place through playing [badly]."
Sir Alex Ferguson's decision to keep Tevez on the bench for the 3-0 win against Chelsea in January – about the same time that Tevez made his frustrations about the lack of a permanent deal clear through the same radio station – seems to have rankled most. "In the important games I haven't played," said Tevez. "The big match with Chelsea I didn't play in. These are the matches I want to play."
Tevez, an unused substitute for the Chelsea game, did play in the weakened United side which went out of the FA Cup in Sunday's semi-final against Everton, but he has been limited to 16 league games since Dimitar Berbatov arrived and became the first-choice striker on Ferguson's team list. The struggle for a place – Tevez was again left out for last night's Premier League game against Portsmouth – has taken its toll and his contribution has been a shadow of what it was last season.
Tevez is already weighing up where he will be next season. Real Madrid and Internazionale are interested but a move to an English side may well appeal to a player who has settled well in this country. Manchester City would covet the chance to move in for him and Chelsea have some interest. "I have had a lot of offers, not only from Spain," Tevez said. "I have to see what clubs I can go to. It's not only a question of money. I also have to see that my family feels comfortable. I especially have to consider my daughter."
The 25-year-old is still awaiting United's decision on whether to pay an additional £22m to buy his registration from the investment companies led by Kia Joorabchian which own his "economic rights". "For the respect of the shirt and because of the love the supporters have given me I don't want to leave in a bad way," Tevez added.
Tevez's representatives insisted yesterday that it was a case of waiting to see what the summer brought from United, but Tevez's words were clear and it is doubtful whether a second outpouring to the same radio station in the space of four months could represent anything but a declaration of intent.