Manchester City to play hardball
The hierarchy at Manchester City have slapped a £50m price tag on the talismanic striker who has announced he must leave City this summer. It is understood that City will not be selling him on the cheap and are willing to wait out the transfer window and beyond until they get an offer they are satisfied with before parting with the Argentinean.
Tevez (27) is only 2 years into a 5 year contract at City, thought to be worth £250k a week and has already had a transfer request rejected last December. He had cited an irreparable relationship with Brian Marwood and Garry Cook as his reason for wanting to leave the club, later saying that Sheikh Mansour himself convinced him to stay at the club.
This time however, Tevez wants to leave for the good of his family as his partner refuses to move to England. This drastic change of stance has not gone unnoticed by anyone, including the fans, and they believe this is just another ploy by Tevez and his agent Kia Joorabchian to get another bumper pay day that a big money move away from the club would provide.
Out of the blue?
He has never been known for his loyalty to clubs, and headlines that Tevez “Shocked” or “Rocked” City with this new twist are blatantly sensationalist overstatements designed to make a crisis where there isn’t one.
One detail that has been slightly overlooked is that Mancini recently mentioned that "There was talk of an exchange with Eto'o, but Inter did not want to sell."
Clearly although Mancini stated that Tevez is likely to stay at the club, the latest transfer request was anticipated by the Italian and the City board alike and they had already explored certain options.
Add to this the perception that the majority of fans are tired of hearing about the transfer saga and just want it to come to a conclusion a headline of “Tevez bores City to tears with his inane whinging” would be more fitting.
Is it such a crisis?
No. Plain and simple, Tevez has 3 years left on his contract and Clubs must meet his valuation and his wage demands before he moves.
Under performing to lower his value isn’t an option for obvious reasons and would only serve to see him sat on the bench. So he really has no option other than to give his all on the pitch and so far no one at City has had reason to think he would do otherwise.
But let’s say a club does stump up the fee and match his wage demands, what then? Well City would then have £50m to spend on a replacement if they so wished. But if a direct replacement wasn’t chosen from outside the club, the Manchester outfit didn’t do too badly without him when he was injured, and actually won a higher percentage of games without him. One of these was the historic victory in FA Cup semi final against arch rivals Manchester United. Even in the FA Cup final it was Yaya Toure who came up with the goods and Mario Balotelli who was awarded man of the match.
Who would replace him?
As far as the captaincy is concerned, there is no problem what so ever as the majority of the fans and possibly several of the players feel that Vincent Kompany should be captain anyway. Problem solved there.
And as for a replacement striker, City have been linked with a number of players across Europe since the end of the season and they certainly have the financial clout to be able to afford almost any striker on the planet.
Sergio Aguero as told Atletico Madrid he wants a move away from the Spanish club and is seen as one possible replacement.
The Napoli forward Ezequiel Lavezzi appears to be the player who most matches Tevez’s style of play but Mancini has already stated that he does not believe he is worth his £27m release clause.
David Villa is another name that has been linked with Manchester. If Barcelona goes through with their purchase of Cesc Fabregas and Alexis Sanchez they may well be forced to cash in on one or more players to balance the books now the Financial Fair Play rules have come into existence.
Of course there have been many more but do City need to buy a direct replacement when they have Mario Balotelli and Edin Dzeko already at the club?
Some would scoff at that, but let’s just consider it for a moment.
Balotelli, despite still being only 20 years old, living in a foreign country, playing in a brand new league with brand new team mates who are also new to each other, despite all the antics of this season, the injuries and suspensions he still scored 10 goals which is more goals than all of Tottenham’s strikers put together. And he is supposed to be considered a flop? I’ll leave that for you to decide.
What about Dzeko, who promised so much and ultimately under-performed last season? Again he moved after a winter break so lacked match fitness, was played out of position at times, and lacked confidence and familiarity with teammates and the new league he was in. Still he bagged 6 goals in all competitions despite aforementioned reasons.
Both Balotelli and Dzeko are expected to improve on last term along with the team in general as they began to show just what they were capable of in the last third of the season.The truth simply is that if he goes, someone will take his place and it will be a case of "The King is dead, long live the King."