Sir Alex Ferguson has admitted Manchester United are in a position of weakness because of Carlos Tevez's complicated loan arrangement.
The South American's United days appear to be drawing to an end because of a perceived lack of opportunities. Ferguson has not given up hope of keeping him, but his bargaining position is not helped by the knowledge Tevez can walk away at the end of the season to take up any of the lucrative offers bound to come his way.
"We are vulnerable because of the loan situation, there is no question about that," said Ferguson.
"It is the weakness and when he is questioned by journalists it is loaded towards that," he added. "It can lead him into saying things he doesn't really believe or mean."
Tevez arrived under a loan arrangement with adviser Kia Joorabchian which was sanctioned by the Premier League.
An agreed price - believed to be around Â£30million - needs to be paid at the end of the season for United to seal Tevez's registration. But, while Ferguson still hopes it will happen, Tevez is seemingly resigned to leaving because he has not played in enough key matches.
"I don't want him to be unhappy that's for sure because he is an important player for us," said the Scot. "The difficulty is when you have the options I have got, it creates problems.
"All the good players want to play in every game but you can't do that in this league, it is impossible.
"I think he genuinely wants to stay and that is something we are trying to work towards. I have told him that repeatedly.
"Maybe at the end of the season if he has won something or achieved something, he will look at the overall picture and realise he has made a contribution. I think he will stay. I hope he does."
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