Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Ferguson won't dwell on Tevez

Never one to dwell on past glories, Sir Alex Ferguson today gave short shrift when asked for his reaction to Carlos Tevez turning his back on a five-year contract offer at Manchester United.

The spiky Argentina international is this week expected to move across town to join local rivals Manchester City despite strong interest from clubs across Europe. The South American proved popular with the Old Trafford faithful in a successful two-year stay, but his criticism of Ferguson over a perceived lack of first-team English football and club officials for delaying contract talks have cast a shadow.

There was more evidence of this when Ferguson intimated the former West Ham favourite had made up his mind to leave United as far back as January. The Scot added his attempts to make contact with Tevez since had fallen on deaf ears, so confirmation of his decision to leave the champions did not come as a surprise.

"I half expected Carlos Tevez would be going a long time back," said the United boss.

"I think he maybe did a deal around January because I spoke to him and gave him an offer on the night we played Inter Milan and he never came back to me.

"I phoned him on holiday and he never got back to me and I texted him twice and he never got back to me then either, so obviously he had made his mind up a long time ago.

"He was a good player and did well for us. But he obviously assessed the situation and wanted to go somewhere else."

City are hopeful of clinching the signature of Tevez before they head off for a three-match tour of South Africa on Wednesday.

Nick Walsh writes features and football betting previews for Betfair.

Monday, 13 July 2009

Ferguson not fazed by Benzema snub

Sir Alex Ferguson has shut the door on any more incomings this summer and declared champions Manchester United closed for business.

The Scot made his admission after confirming he did enquire about signing Karim Benzema but lost faith as soon as big-spending Spanish football giants Real Madrid entered the running for the France forward's signature.

It means the Old Trafford boss will choose from Wayne Rooney, Dimitar Berbatov, Michael Owen and youngsters Federico Macheda and Danny Welbeck when United begin the defence of their Premier League title.

The signing of Owen gives Ferguson the impact goal-getter he craved since Carlos Tevez decided it was wise to turn his back on a five-year contract offer. And fellow new recruits Antonio Valencia and Gabriel Obertan will be charged with the task of supplying the ammunition in a top-heavy midfield.

Zlatan Ibrahimovich, Sergio Aguero and Klaas Jan Huntelaar have been touted as close-season targets but Ferguson is adamant that he will not pay inflated prices just because he has £80m from the sale of Cristiano Ronaldo burning a hole in his pocket.

"There are some amazing numbers being talked about, not all of them realistic," he said.

"It is very difficult to get value now. In a way we benefited through the sale of Cristiano, although that figure was non-negotiable.

"But I feel we have a good squad, which meant there was no need for knee-jerk reactions.

"We asked about Benzema and we had a value for him. Lyon have done well because they got 42million Euros but I think we took a sensible view."

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Tevez antics leave nasty after-taste

Carlos Tevez, who asked to leave Manchester United, refuses to go quietly and his latest accusation that he was "thrown out of the club" risks alienating him from the same set of supporters who once worshiped him.

Let us not forget Tevez, for all his "pain" and "sadness", suffered the hardship of winning successive Premier League titles and the Champions League during his loan arrangement at Old Trafford.

His work-rate won him many admirers but his recent trick of trying to turn fans against manager Sir Alex Ferguson over his decision to turn his back on a five-year contract offer is unlikely to win him many new friends.

"If I play for Manchester City I don't think the United fans will feel I am a traitor," reasoned Tevez.

"They have to remember that at least as far as I know I have been thrown out of the club and I have to study the best offers available."

Tevez, also a target for Chelsea, should remember he gave good service during a productive stint at one of the world's biggest clubs instead of blaming anyone in earshot over a decision he made.

The 25-year-old Argentina striker continued his sniping at the weekend when he blamed Ferguson for blanking him in response to the 4-1 drubbing by fiercest rivals Liverpool – a game in which he started - at Old Trafford in March.

The apparent cold shoulder left former West Ham favourite Tevez with no option but to move on – a decision backed up by his advisor, Kia Joorabchian.

"It has come about because I could not stand my sporting situation at Manchester United any longer," he continued. "My first year was good in all senses. I played in the games and felt respected by the coach but in my second year some strange things happened that I still do not understand.

"After the game at Old Trafford where Liverpool beat us, Ferguson ignored me almost as if I was to blame for the defeat when really Liverpool dominated us all over the pitch. After that the fans called for me to be in the team but he never took the advice on board because he always knows best.

"I gave everything for Manchester United and people know that," Tevez told the People. "For that reason I don't deserve the way things have ended up."