Manchester City are adamant they have agreed a £44m deal to sell Carlos Tevez to Corinthians despite the Brazilian club's denials yesterday. The City manager, Roberto Mancini, said at a press conference in Vancouver yesterday morning that Corinthians had agreed a fee with City for Tevez. The Brazilian club later said that they were still studying a proposal from City regarding fees and payment schedules and had not come to a final agreement.
However, City sources say that a payment schedule and fee were agreed overnight on Sunday. From their point of view the only amendments left to the deal are relatively small details: moving forward the first of four payments from Corinthians to this year and the receipt of a banker's guarantee for the fee.
City have agreed with Tevez and his adviser Kia Joorabchian that he can move to Corinthians for £40m plus £4m in add-ons because the player has expressed a desire to be closer to his children in Buenos Aires. On that basis they have accepted less than the £50m valuation they have of the player. However, they would not be prepared to agree a similar fee with a European club if this deal was to break down.
City are perplexed as to why Corinthians should say that a deal had not been agreed when the understanding was that both clubs were simply finalising a deal. There are theories that the Brazilian club's interest may not be as substantive as first suggested and was raised only in order to smoke out another buyer. For the time being, however, City hope that the deal will go through.
Although Tevez was their captain and top goalscorer last season, there is an acceptance that the club need to move on. City have been offered the Atletico Madrid striker Sergio Aguero as a replacement, even though it is not clear whether they regard the Argentina international as a suitable alternative.
In a statement yesterday, Corinthians said their president, Andres Sanchez, was "keen to clarify" that an offer had not been accepted. The club said: "The president, Andres Sanchez, advises that there is no concrete agreement with Tevez at this time and the counter-proposal will be analysed by him and the board."
The Tevez affair overshadowed the release of more detailed plans for City's groundbreaking Etihad Campus around their stadium in east Manchester – a key part of the £400m naming rights deal they have struck with the Abu Dhabi airline. The plan is to turn the 80 acres around their stadium into an academy accommodating 400 players, 16 football pitches, medical facilities, a 7,000-capacity stadium and staff offices.