Frank Isola: Whatever the Club, Carlos Tevez Needs to Get back to Work
Carlos Tevez belongs on a soccer field and not the back of some milk carton under the heading, "Missing Superstar: Last seen months ago at Etihad Stadium."
The Argentinean striker is too young, too talented and too famous to be wasting away while his current employer tries to work out the best deal for the club. With any luck, Tevez should be back at work within a few weeks plying his trade for AC Milan, Paris Saint-Germain or Corinthians.
The one destination that you can almost certainly rule out is Manchester City, which clearly has no use for the player who was an important part of its resurgence in the Premier League before falling out of favor with manager Roberto Mancini this year. Say what you will about Mancini and Man City, but you know things are going well when you can't find a place for a player like Tevez in your regular lineup.
"I'd be a liar if I said I wouldn't take him if I had the chance," says Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp. And that's coming from the boss whose team sits third in the Premier League table behind Tevez's current club, Man City, and his former club, Manchester United.
"When he plays, he's top class. Whatever you say about him, when he plays he has a real go and never plays without putting it all in."
Those are the qualities that have attracted AC Milan to Tevez. The Rossoneri would be an ideal landing spot for a striker as gifted as Tevez to restart his career. Moreover, Tevez is receptive to relocating to the Italian power.
He even has the backing of Milan midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng who feels that a reclamation project like Tevez belongs at the San Siro.
"Carlitos has a story similar to mine, and to Ibra (Zlatan Ibrahimovic) and (Antonio) Cassano's ones and this made him the player he is," he told La Gazzetta dello Sport.
"Tevez is bad and he always wants to win. He runs and plays with his heart which makes him perfect for Milan."
It makes too much sense but Milan's interest comes with a disclaimer. Milan vice president Adriano Galliani is interested in bringing in Tevez on loan with the option of purchasing him at the end of the season. That proviso doesn't sit well with Mancini who knows a thing or two about Italian soccer and the price of world class strikers. Mancini's message to Milan was simple: no loan.
"Manchester City paid Carlos a lot of money for three years," Mancini said. "It is correct that if one club - it could be Milan, Juventus, PSG, Inter - want him, they pay Carlos for his value. This is correct."
Even in broken English Mancini's position makes plenty of sense. You want him, pay for him.
And as for Galliani’s claim that AC Milan doesn’t have the resources to purchase Tevez outright that sounds more like a negotiating ploy than reality. Even Galliani’s pseudo "we made them an offer they refused" bit sounded rehearsed. Maybe he heard that somewhere before – in a movie perhaps? – and put his own twist on it.
"It all depends on the English," Galliani said of possibly adding Tevez. "We made our offer, a cost-free loan with the right of purchase, and we're not going to change it. They refused it, but it wouldn't be the first time that a club has done that only to come back after a month and accept it."
Talks between the two football powers will continue up until the Jan. 31 deadline unless those negotiations are hijacked by Corinthians, which is looking to re-sign its former star player. The Brazilian club has one advantage in that Tevez has constantly talked about wanting to play closer to home. I'm sure Tevez misses his family dearly but he says it so often that at times it sounds like a negotiating ploy as well.
And that’s fine. When millions of dollars are at stake everyone plays the game. No crime there. But it would be a crime if Tevez isn't back playing sooner rather than later.
He's been missing for too long now.
By Goal.com, 30/12/2011