MANCHESTER, England(AP)—Carlos Tevez will leave Manchester United after the club said Saturday he rejected a five-year contract that would have made him one of the highest paid players on the Premier League champions.
The Argentina forward’s exit will leave manager Alex Ferguson searching for another attacking player to complement Wayne Rooney and Dimitar Berbatov while still seeking a replacement for Cristiano Ronaldo, who is set to complete a move to Real Madrid.
Teenagers Federico Macheda and Danny Welbeck made impressive contributions last season, but lack the experience Man United requires as it seeks to rebound following its Champions League final defeat to Barcelona.
The Red Devils said they had wanted to keep Tevez and were willing to pay $41 million to turn his two-year loan deal into a permanent contract. But Tevez has decided to leave Old Trafford, having previously said that United disrespected him by not explaining why he was dropped so often from the team.
Tevez wants to continue playing in the Premier League and has been linked with United’s crosstown rival, Manchester City, which has the financial resources to sign him.
“The club agreed to pay the option price of 25.5 million pounds and offered Carlos a five-year contract, which would have made him one of its highest paid players,” United said. “Disappointingly, however, his advisers informed the club that, despite the success he has enjoyed during one of the club’s most successful periods, he does not wish to continue playing for Manchester United.”
Tevez was brought to England in 2006 through a contentious loan move to West Ham by the investment company that still owns his rights. He joined United before the 2007-08 season and quickly become a fan favorite. After the final home match of the season in May, more than a thousand supporters converged on the directors’ exit and players’ tunnel chanting: “Fergie, sign him up.”