Manchester City see £38m Sergio Aguero as answer to Carlos Tevez problem
Mancini pursues Atletico star to reduce over-reliance on club captain after move to Corinthians falls apart
Manchester City will push on with their £38m bid to sign Sergio Aguero from Atletico Madrid despite the collapse of the sale of Carlos Tevez to Corinthians, and the club are hopeful that Aguero's arrival will make them less reliant on their captain.
Talks are planned in the next few days between City chief executive Garry Cook and his counterparts at Atletico over the signing of Aguero, 23. While City are dismayed – but not surprised – at Corinthians' failure to come up with the guarantees for the £44m fee for Tevez, they are determined not to be forced into a corner by Tevez again.
There is an acceptance at City that Tevez wielded a disproportionate degree of influence over his two seasons there because they have been so reliant on him for goals. They hope that the arrival of Aguero, who has been at Atletico for five years, will change that dynamic and reduce Tevez's power to make life difficult for the club, as he did with his transfer request in December.
City were not forewarned by Corinthians that they were to release a statement withdrawing from negotiations to sign Tevez as they did in the early hours of yesterday morning. By that time City had acquiesced to drop all the relatively minor requests to amend the deal, worth £40m with £4m add-ons, and were waiting only for a banker's guarantee.
City had agreed that Corinthians would not have to make any payment until next year and had waived any right to a sell-on fee. All they required was the standard guarantee that the club had the funds to buy the player. The longer that Corinthians president Andres Sanches withheld the guarantee, the more City suspected that the fee was beyond their means.
Tevez is on holiday and will have another two weeks off. The club have made it clear to the player and his advisor Kia Joorabchian that they would not be prepared to do a similar deal with a European club who would have to pay £50m to sign the player. In the meantime, Tevez will be told to get on with preparing for the new season with City.
The reality is that with such a high fee and wage demands of around £200,000 a week, Tevez is running short of options if he is to leave City. Having explored the South American interest in his client, Joorabchian now has to persuade a European club to part with £50m for a player who has been perennially unsettled since his arrival in England five years ago.
Corinthians alluded to the possibility of signing Tevez at a later date but given the doubts about their financial strength, that seems unlikely. In a statement, the club said: "The board of Sporting Club Corinthians hereby officially announce the impossibility of hiring the Argentinian striker Carlos Tevez.
"While acknowledging the efforts of Manchester City and all involved in the negotiation, more time is needed for the transfer to be achieved, given that the window to sign players from abroad closes [last night]. We are aware of the dream our fans had of having this player at Corinthians again and we look forward to him being with us in the near future."
Harry Redknapp has said that Tottenham are interested in signing Emmanuel Adebayor, but only on loan. His wages of £150,000 a week are double that of Spurs' highest earners. City would be delighted to get rid of Adebayor, left behind for their current tour of America, but would rather a permanent deal than a loan.
Redknapp said: "He is a name that was mentioned and I spoke to the chairman about the player, about the possibility of loaning him, but whether they [City] would loan him I don't know. If they would loan him he would be of interest. He is a quality player. We will wait and see."
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