Carlos Tevez looks certain to leave Old Trafford this summer after being caught in the crossfire between Manchester United and his advisor Kia Joorabchian.
No sooner had Sir Alex Ferguson eulogised about Tevez's goalscoring contribution to United's 2-1 win at Wigan on Wednesday night, and confirmed a contract offer had been put to the South American, than a statement was released on Joorabchian's behalf insisting there was no deal.
"(Chief executive) David Gill has had a good meeting and I have spoken to him. We have given him an offer and we hope he accepts," said Ferguson.
In addition, it has privately been suggested Tevez's heart is no longer committed to the United cause, even though it did not seem that way when Tevez scored their equaliser at the JJB Stadium, or in the celebrations that accompanied Michael Carrick's late winner.
"The fans love him because he is a trier," continued Ferguson.
"He has great skill, of course, but he never gives in and that is a great quality to have. He has a hunger to fight all the time. It is wonderful to see.
"The problem is we are not negotiating with a football club."
In fact, United are dealing with Joorabchian, who was allowed to keep Tevez's registration at the start of a two-year loan period but must now relinquish it if the South American is to remain in the Premier League.
"It is true David Gill came to see Mr Joorabchian and they had a cordial meeting," said Joorabchian's spokesman. It is categorically untrue that Manchester United made an offer to try to persuade Carlos Tevez to stay at the club.
"In 2007 Manchester United agreed a two-year loan deal for Carlos Tevez and at the same time agreed the terms that would make the transfer permanent. They have not taken up that option."
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