The 27-year-old Argentine has repeatedly expressed a desire to leave Eastlands to be closer to his family, prompting myriad bids for his services. However, a £50 million price tag has all but killed most interest in the striker's services. Sure, there were bids from Juventus, Inter Milan and Brazilian outfit Corinthians, but even the Brazilians' reported £40 million bid seemed to fall well short of the Blues' asking price.
But that all changed on Sunday night, when a Mirror Football report indicated that the Blues had agreed to a deal with the Brazilians for their superstar, although the terms of that deal weren't disclosed. In fact, manager Roberto Mancini went out of his way to confirm that a deal was in place.
"We have an agreement with Corinthians but Carlos now is still a City player."
Asked whether Tevez would now be discussing personal terms, Mancini replied: "I don't know this. I repeat, at the moment, Carlos is still a City player."
He added: "I want to wait. At the moment we are here, we are working with the other guys. We should think about this."
At that point, the deal looked imminent. Tevez wanted to leave City, and if the Corinthians had agreed to terms with the Blues, the 27-year-old Argentine was as good as gone. He would provide a massive boost to the Brazilian club's offense, having been a 20-goal scorer in the Premiership last season, and figured to star for the club immediately, even if the price remained a bit steep.
However, it wasn't long before other reports coming from Brazil indicated that perhaps a deal wasn't done after all. According to a report from the Corinthians' website, the Brazilian club hadn't finished a deal off after all, and were still trying to negotiate terms to get the talented scorer from City.
Per their statements (as reported by the Daily Mail):
A Corinthians statement read: 'Because of news reports this morning of an agreement between Corinthians and the striker Carlos Tevez, president Andres Sanchez is keen to clarify that Manchester City has not accepted Corinthians' offer for the player.
'In fact, the club (City) sent a counter-proposal, which, due to the time difference, has only just reached the Corinthians board this morning.
'In the counter-proposal, the Premier League club asks for changes in the form of payment and also in the total value of the transaction.
'Finally, the president Andres Sanchez advises that there is no concrete agreement with Tevez at this time and the counter-proposal will be analysed by him and the board.'
Confused yet? Join the club. So, is Tevez bound for Brazil, or is he staying at Eastlands for the time being?
The answer is probably somewhere in between the two options at this stage of the game. If Tevez leaves City, I don't see him going anywhere but Corinthians as of now. They're the clear front-runners, and as long as they can get City to agree to terms, they'll get their superstar from the Blues.
But at the same time, the deal isn't ready yet. Mancini said that while there was a deal in place, they were still working on the deal itself, which tells me that Tevez is likely bound for Brazil assuming the two clubs can figure out how the cash will be paid.
Reports indicate that Corinthians want to pay the fee over four seasons in increments of £10 million per season, since they lack the full funds at this juncture. While that seems reasonable, it's clear that City want more cash more quickly than that, and are likely pushing for more money at the bargaining table.
To me, it sounds as though the two sides know how much money City will get for the 27-year-old superstar, but the problems come in when the timeline of when that money will arrive comes into play.
Unfortunately for Tevez and Corinthians, that means there's still plenty that can go wrong here. If City are unwilling to take an extended payment plan on this deal, it's as good as dead in the water. There's no way the Brazilians have the liquid assets necessary to get Tevez up front and they likely don't have the cash needed for two payments of £20 million either if they want to purchase anyone to put around him.
In the end, though, it sounds like the two sides are closer to finding a mutually beneficial deal than any other club has been with City. Corinthians seem to be well on their way to getting this thing finished, and while it's far from a done deal, this is a situation that merits monitoring.
We'll likely know more in the coming days, but as of now, Tevez is very much still a member of the Blues, and one of the most compelling storylines of the summer is likely to continue for at least a few more days, if not longer.
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