Monday, 9 July 2007

The Impasse Continues

Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has admitted the club are close to signing Carlos Tevez from West Ham according to new reports emerging today. The 23-year-old Argentine striker agreed personal terms with United last week and Ferguson, speaking at a press conference to present new signings Nani and Anderson, revealed: "We are in negotiations and want to make sure there are no side issues. The essential parts are agreed. Hopefully it will be finalised soon. To be honest, I thought it would have all been sorted by the weekend just gone. It must be the Premier League that is holding it up." Having only allowed Tevez to play in the final three games of last season because a so-called 'third-party agreement' between West Ham and Joorabchian had been ripped up, the Premier League are anxious the Hammers should be the main financial beneficiaries of any move. However, Joorabchian is adamant Tevez remains his property and any financial windfall should come to him. The waters are further muddied by the fact that West Ham, who insist they cut all ties with Joorabchian after they were fined in April, expect Tevez to return to east London after he concludes his international duties at the Copa America in Venezuela.

Manchester United legal expert Maurice Watkins has been left to find a solution to the impasse. The Red Devils are confident a compromise can be reached by the time Tevez's current commitments with Argentina at the Copa America are concluded at the weekend. "Club solicitor Maurice Watkins has been working on it for a month, maybe more, to make sure the deal is perfectly clear," said Ferguson. "From what chief executive David Gill and Maurice said, everything was ready to go. Unless something is being held back from us, I don't know of anything that is holding it up." An article in The Guardian states United are at a loss to understand why the Tevez move has stalled given the contract drawn up is almost exactly the same as the one which enabled Javier Mascherano to move from West Ham to Liverpool in January. The Premier League's argument is that since Mascherano's Upton Park exit, an independent commission has ruled the Argentina pair's Hammers' contracts were in breach of regulations. To acknowledge now that Joorabchian still controls the player's future would involve a major climbdown. The matter could yet end up in the courts, or require the involvement of Fifa, though Ferguson insists United will not submit to anything 'underhand'. "We are following the procedure of Javier Mascherano," Ferguson said. "The essential thing for us is that everything is agreed. We want complete clarity in the deal, with no suspicions or anything dodgy. There is no way we will be involved in anything underhand." (cough.. John Obi Mikel... Elite sports agency... cough)

Meanwhile, Carlos Tevez's representatives have accused the Premier League of double standards over their handling of the proposed transfer to Manchester United. Speaking to PA Sport, a source close to the situation said: "Why were the Premier League not interested when Mascherano moved to Liverpool? It was exactly the same deal. The Premier League scrutinised that transfer but did not insist on West Ham receiving any of the money from that deal." The Premier League, however, maintain the two situations are different because the third-party agreement in Mascherano's West Ham contract was ended when he moved on to Liverpool. A piece in The Independent reiterates that in the case of Tevez, West Ham opted to keep the player and unilaterally terminate the third-party clause in his contract following an independent disciplinary commission hearing, allowing the Argentina striker to play a key role in the Hammers' successful fight against relegation. A Premier League statement said: "Our position remains the same. Any deal for the transfer of Carlos Tevez has to be struck directly with West Ham United and we support West Ham United in asserting their rights over their player."

Elsewhere, thick-skinned Liverpool chief executive Rick Parry has called for temporary moves to be banned in the Premiership. Parry, formerly chief executive at the Premier League, believes the loan system could be abused and thinks clubs are wealthy enough to make the practice unnecessary. He said: "When I was at the Premier League we always took the view that, given the money in the Premier League, you didn't need loans - you should be able to stand on your own two feet. There is enough money around to make transfer deals permanent. That stood for over 10 years. It's only in the last two or three years we have had the loan system in the Premier League." The man who had no problem in taking Javier Mascherano to Liverpool in January would presumably like to see changes introduced that would prevent Carlos Tevez making a similar move to Manchester United but concedes that most of Liverpool's top-flight rivals did not share his views. "It worked fine without it. There is a sense that it can be open to abuse. But clearly it was the will of the clubs to allow the relaxation of it and clearly the majority are in favour," he said.

1 comment:

Raja said...

I guess its true, Liverpool have some of the best comedians!!

I gues he will now will tear up Mash's contract and send him back to West Ham or Kia?


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