Tevez turns tables on Ferguson

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The Independent Online

Carlos Tevez has accused Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson of not showing him enough love.

Tevez today became one of the rare breed to cross the Manchester divide, joining City immediately after quitting United.

Ferguson claimed yesterday that Tevez had a deal in place as long ago as last January, insisting the Argentinian refused to return phone messages.

But Tevez claims it was the United boss who snubbed him, triggering the disenchantment that eventually made him leave.

"I felt Sir Alex Ferguson and (United chief executive) David Gill did not do enough to try to keep me," said Tevez. "I was at Manchester United for two years. I never got a call or a text message from Sir Alex Ferguson. The only time he spoke to me was after the Champions League final in Rome when I was going back to Argentina.

"I don't think this is the way to treat a player who is at a club for two years. There was no line of communication."

Tevez's revelations will come as a blow to United fans, who had hoped the South American could be persuaded to stay at Old Trafford in the wake of Cristiano Ronaldo's world record move to Real Madrid.

By then though the South American's mind was already made up, even if he did acknowledge the support he received from the United fans who now know he will be wearing the blue of their big city rivals this season.

"The fact I did not stay at United was not because of the fans," he said.

"They must understand a part of my heart will always be with them. They were always extremely supportive, even when I wasn't playing."

One of Tevez's supposed grievances at United was his lack of first-team action - even if Ferguson stated he played more games than either Wayne Rooney or Dimitar Berbatov last year. He must, therefore, have supreme confidence in his own ability given the striking talent at Hughes' disposal.

Should Emmanuel Adebayor complete a £25million switch from Arsenal as expected, the City boss will have 10 senior forwards at his disposal, plus Brazilian Jo, who will spend the campaign at Everton.

Yet Tevez was anxious to state at no stage has he been guaranteed a place in the City line-up, and the 25-year-old has pledged to work hard to prove his worth.

"In every team you need to earn the respect of your team-mates," he said. You really need to sweat for the shirt. I will not be happy to have any assurance to be a member of the first-team and I will fight very hard to get in it."

It is estimated City have paid £25million to secure Tevez's services, with the cash presumably going direct to Kia Joorabchian, his controversial advisor.

All the paperwork on a five-year deal has been accepted by the authorities, giving City sole ownership rights, although it will be interesting to see what happens should a parting of the ways eventually be required.

For now, Hughes is revelling in the capture of a player he feels represents outstanding value for money.

"From where we are in our development, to be able to bring one of the top strikers in world football to the club is a fantastic thing," he said. "We are delighted Carlos is here."

Tevez will link up with his new team-mates on their three-match tour of South Africa when they leave tomorrow.

Then he returns to friendlies against Barnsley and Old Firm duo Rangers and Celtic before the Blues open an eagerly-awaited Premier League campaign at Blackburn on 15 August.

His trip to Old Trafford comes on 20 September, by which time even he should be used to his new surroundings and a training ground barely a mile from the one he spent two years working at.

"I am in an odd situation because I have been in this city for some time and now I am at a different club," he said. "But I have been presented with a challenge I am excited by.

"I am one more player. Each time that happens, the ambition of Manchester City recovering their old status as one of the best clubs in England gets nearer. I am here to try and win titles and trophies. That is what I will try to do."

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