Carlos Tevez's transfer to Corinthians hung in the balance last night when the Brazilian club failed to provide the necessary banker's guarantee to Manchester City that underpins the £44m deal.
City sources say that the payment schedule has been agreed – four payments over four years with the first before the end of this year – and that the total figure of £40m and £4m in add-ons is acceptable to both parties. However, another 24 hours without any cast-iron evidence that Corinthians have the money are making the English club dubious the deal will be completed. The Brazilian transfer window also closes today.
City are in Canada on tour without Tevez, who played for Argentina in the Copa America this month, and want to get the deal done. They fear that the latest delay will mean that the saga of their captain's future will drag on once again. They accepted a fee from Corinthians lower than their £50m valuation of the player so that he could live closer to his family in Buenos Aires.
Without Tevez, City won their first tour game 2-1 against Vancouver Whitecaps in the early hours of yesterday morning with a winning goal from Shaun Wright-Phillips. Shay Given, the former City goalkeeper who joined Aston Villa this week, said that Tevez was not a "mercenary".
Given said: "I think it looks like he'll probably leave, but there's lots of negotiating to go. I don't think it's mercenary. You've got to respect his decision. He's got two young kids in Argentina and he sees them once every two months so it's very difficult for him.
"He is one of the best players in the world and people forget there's a human being behind that and he does have human feelings as well. I wish him well, he's been a great player for Man City and he'll be missed."
Given, 35, also said he is excited to be joining Villa after being marginalised at City by manager Roberto Mancini, who preferred Joe Hart. "It was frustrating [at City], but I think it's about moving on for me now and hopefully about creating something special at Aston Villa," said the goalkeeper. "He [Mancini] made it pretty clear I wasn't in his plans," Given added. "It's water under the bridge now and you move on in your career.
"I wish Joe every success, I think he's going to be a fantastic goalkeeper and I think he played really well last year – he's still very young in goalkeeping terms."