United remain keen on Tevez deal

Manchester United still intend to sign Carlos Tevez on a permanent contract and will head off growing interest in the Argentinian international.

According to a club source, the chief executive David Gill met Tevez's representatives last week, after the Champions League tie against Celtic, to reassure them that United have not changed their mind about buying the 24-year-old striker. An announcement could be made within weeks although no deadline has been set by either party for an agreement. It had appeared, during the summer, that a deal would be agreed before the end of the transfer window but that was delayed as United put their resources into signing Dimitar Berbatov. The fee for Tevez will be around £30m, although from that will be deducted the loan payments that United have made over the past two seasons after securing the player from West Ham United.

When he moved to Old Trafford there was interest in him from Real Madrid and there is increased speculation that the Spanish club may be weighing up a move for Tevez in the January transfer window. That has intensified with the announcement yesterday by Real that Ruud van Nistelrooy will miss the rest of the season because he has to undergo surgery to repair his injured knee.

The news is a severe blow to Real whose coach Bernd Schuster is coming under increasing pressure following an indifferent start to the season, especially in the Champions League.

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