Joorabchian boosts City's hopes over deal for Tevez

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The Independent Online

Carlos Tevez's representatives offered encouragement to Manchester City yesterday by insisting that the Argentine striker was not necessarily looking for Champions League football next season.

City appear to be a strong contender for the 25-year-old, who is on their wish list, as Kia Joorabchian, who heads the investment companies which hold his rights, prepares a career beyond Manchester United for the player. "The Champions League is the biggest [league] but Carlos isn't the kind of person that says 'I have to play for this club, in this situation'," Joorabchian said. "He wants to go to a club that has a real ambition and focus to be champions of England, Europe and anywhere."

Tevez's protest in the direction of the United chief executive, David Gill, after his goal in Sunday's Manchester derby was intended for those who have criticised him in writing, the player's representatives suggested yesterday. He apparently mistook the directors' box for the press box – five yards to its left – when he cupped his ears at Gill. Sir Alex Ferguson – who has yet to inform Gill as to whether he considers the £22m fee outstanding plus a pay rise to represent good business for Tevez – may be unconvinced by that explanation. With Tevez's public declaration of intent to leave having prompted no discussion with either Gill or Ferguson, his future at Old Trafford seems over.

Liverpool also remain a prospective buyer, as do Chelsea and two surprising outside possibilities, Everton and Aston Villa. But Liverpool's Rafael Benitez has another offensive player in his sights – Valencia's David Silva, for whom he is ready to return to the Spanish club with a £15m take-it-or-leave-it offer.

Benitez has had chief scout Eduardo Macia, who signed Silva for Valencia, out in Spain viewing the attacking playmaker for some time. The Liverpool manager is understood to be ready to do business with his former club, though there is some concern at Anfield that it might open a bidding war. Valencia have financial troubles which have prompted vice president Fernando Gomez Colomer to prepare the fans for the departure of at least one of the their prime assets, Silva or David Villa.

One player staying put is Manchester City's Stephen Ireland, who is on the brink of securing a new £50,000-a-week contract extension in recognition of his successful season. Dietmar Hamann and Darius Vassell's City careers appear to be over.

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