Unhappy Tevez no stranger to controversy

MANCHESTER - Manchester City have been left with an unsettled captain after turning down Carlos Tevez's transfer request on Sunday and a player whose track record suggests the issue will not go away quietly.

The Argentine is only 18 months into a five-year deal and for now he will stay at City, who are riding high in the top slots of the Premier League thanks in no small part to Tevez's excellent form this season.

But for all the talent and hard work that the striker displays on the pitch, there has been a large amount of controversy that he also seems to bring with him.

After City added to it with a 'Welcome to Manchester' billboard following his defection from the red side of the city to the blue when he moved from United in 2009, it was only to be expected that more might follow.

The debate over what Tevez's motives are for wanting to leave will rage on and if he fails to put it behind him, the club may have no choice but to sell if his heart is not in it.

Tevez, 26, has spoken of his homesickness for his family who are living in South America, while newspaper reports of a rift with manager Roberto Mancini have been rife. Fans have also wondered whether the move could be a ploy to get a better deal.

City's statement on the matter said they had continued to show sensitivity to Tevez's personal circumstances and rather than criticise the player, pointed the finger at his advisor.

"The club remains disappointed by this situation and particularly with the actions of Carlos' representative," the statement said.

Tevez is represented by Kia Joorabchian, a familiar name in the previous sagas that have followed the player around three English clubs over the last four years.

West Ham United were fined for breaking rules on third-party agreements regarding player transfers when signing him from Brazilian club Corinthians in 2006 when he was part-owned by Joorabchian's MSI company.


There followed a protracted legal battle with Sheffield United who sued West Ham for the cost of their relegation saying the Londoners should have faced the drop instead because they should have been given a points deduction as well as the fine.

After two years, the clubs settled out of court. In the meantime, Tevez had joined Manchester United in another controversial deal involving more player ownership issues.

He then upset United fans by moving down the road to City.

That move provided Tevez with a platform he never had at United to be the team's main goalscorer and it looked like the flow of controversy around him might have been stemmed.

His 33 goals in 50 league appearances since joining from United in 2009 have made him a firm favourite with the Eastlands crowd but Internet fan forums were awash with reminders on Sunday that no player was bigger than the club.

Only last week Tevez had spoken of his desire to help City win their first English league title since 1968.

"I know it is hard for people to go to matches week in, week out. It can be expensive and it is not the main priority in life, but they make it their main priority," he said. "That motivates me and we all want to do the same thing - to make history and win trophies at City."

Some fans have questioned whether Tevez is attempting to get himself a better pay package - like United striker Wayne Rooney did with a similar statement of desire to leave the club two months ago which ended with him signing a new five-year deal.

That seems unlikely though since the club pointed out that Tevez was already their highest paid player, which came as something of a surprise since midfielder Yaya Toure had widely been reported to hold that honour on 200,000 pounds a week.

Both Tevez and Mancini have denied falling out but the tension between them was visible last week when Tevez reacted angrily to being substituted against Bolton Wanderers.

Mancini also said this week that City could win matches without Tevez.

But whether they could win the title without him is something fans may not want to test out.