Saturday, May 16, 2009

Where To Next for Carlos Tevez? Liverpool? Madrid? Barca? Inter? City? Stay?

As Manchester United wrapped up their 18th league title and their 11th under Alex Ferguson, a fore-lorn Carlos Tevez waved to the crowd, as if saying goodbye, after he was once again singled out by the Scot and substituted.

Tevez, looked at the fourth official's substitution board, and on seeing the dreaded number 32 being held up, he shrugged his shoulders and turned and waved to the Old Trafford crowd, who amazingly booed their managers decision to take the Argentinian off.

He is a player that is loved at Old Trafford and admired by fans throughout the league. And as he celebrates his second Premiership medal in two seasons, the victory is tinged with sourness as he now undoubtedly sees his future away from the Theatre of Dreams.

The main reason he is liked by fans of every club is that he is a player wityh no baggage. He doesn't do the primadonna stuff of Ronaldo or Berbatov, even though he is more than capable. He doesn't lose his temper like Wayne Rooney, even though he has had ample reason this season. And he doesn't lose the head like Didier Drogba when things don't go his way.

Tevez is the consummate professional. He's a player of incredible skill but he is also a player who never gives less than 100%. This is the vital factor that has made him such a hit with fans of every club.

He is tenacious, never gives up, has massive levels of determination and is also a brilliant player. Think Dirk Kuyt combined with a good player, actually think Wayne Rooney combined with Paul McGrath, he's that type of player. A player who plays like a calm hurricane, every run, every pass is thought about.

After Ferguson substituted him today, he reached down to shake the Argentinian's hand. Tevez without shrugging him off simply blanked his manager. The body language between the two speaking volumes.

So far this season, Tevez has only started 17 league games, and has only played the full 90 minutes 10 times. The substitution today seemed to have been the straw that broke the camels back. Feeling humiliated once too often, Tevez signalled that his future is away from Old Trafford after he told Sky Sports that it would be "very difficult" for him to stay.

Add this to the fact that United are trying to pressure Kia Joorabchian into selling Tevez for a lower than agreed fee and he could indeed be playing elsewhere next season.

The United striker obviously feels his future lies away from United now, but where can he go?

1. Stay in the Premiership?

For Tevez to stay in the Premiership there are only really four clubs who could or would meet his agents demands. Chelsea are planning a massive clear out in the summer so Stamford Bridge is an unlikely destination, as too is the Emirates. He doesn't fit the profile of a Wenger signing, although Arsenal fans may wish otherwise.

No, the four clubs who have the money to sign Tevez are Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool and Manchester United.

Everyone knows of City trying to sign Kaka in January, and bringing Tevez to the Eastlands would be a real coup. It could even signal the possible sale of Robinho...

Spurs have the money, but after Harry splashed out on Robbie Keane and Jermaine Defoe in January, they aren't short of options up front but you could never turn down an available player like Tevez.

Liverpool have backed Rafa in the transfer market during his five years there. Spending almost £172m, the Liverpool manager is now in complete and full control of the transfer budgets.

Tevez would be a great signing for the title chasing team, he can play in a wide variety of positions and he would slot right in.

For City, Spurs, and Liverpool, the signing of Tevez would be incredible. And the deal would be financed in exactly the same way his current deal with United is. A loan for two years before a big fee. Very appealing.

Realistically only Liverpool of this three could even be considered, and it would be very interesting to see if Tevez would have the same kind of impact that Eric Cantona had at United after he left Leeds title winning team.

2. Abroad?

Who would interest Tevez abroad? Coming from Argentina, he speaks Spanish so La Liga is a very real option. Real Madrid like signing marquee players and Tevez is easily that.

The current board at Madrid are under incredible pressure to bring the title back to the Bernebeau. Juande Ramos will almost certainly be sacked, so Madrid will be looking for a new manager in the summer. Would Tevez like to parachute into a team in dire need of re-building? I don't think so, but hey, money talks.

The more likely option in Spain would be Barcelona. Thierry Henry is moving on this summer, Manchester City the likely destination and they are one of the few clubs who would really could interest the Argentinian.

Inter Milan are an outside bet. Jose Mourinho has just captured the Serie A title in his first season and he will no doubt look for funds from the board to bring some major signings to the San Siro as he looks to finally challenge for the Champions League trophy.

Of course, all this speculation will be made redundant if Sir Alex gets his finger out and keeps Tevez at the club. But bare in mind that last season was Manchester United's second most successful season of all time and their debt almost doubled.

The way the Glazer family have financed their takeover of the club has caused some serious monetary problems for the club., and not signing a Tevez would save the club some £30m.

So where will Carlos end up?

Trophies have a way of papering over most cracks, don't they?

twitter / WillieGannon